Tata Motors will invest around R3,000 every year over the next three years as it pursues a multi-pronged growth strategy, Chairman Ratan Tata said on Wednesday signalling a sustained thrust for the automaker that now has in its stable the world's cheapest car as well as two established luxury brands.
'We will invest about R3,000 crore over the next three years towards building new products, new projects and on facelifts,' said Ratan Tata, chairman, Tata Motors at the firm's 65th AGM.
The spending would also cover new variants of the Nano, the world's cheapest car, and efforts to boost luxury brands Jaguar and Land Rover.
While the company faced some anxious moments again last month when a Nano caught fire in Delhi, the chairman sees no problem as such with the brand. The Tatas, however, are investigating the reasons behind the fire.
'We have around 50,000 vehicles in the market and 4 or 5 fires do not indicate there is a problem with the Nano. It is more of a situational subject,' said Tata.
Tata also said that there will be three other versions of Nano coming—a 3-cylinder version, a diesel version and eventually a European and US version with enhanced features to make it more compatible to the demanding Western conditions.
As of now the company is looking to export the Nano to nations in South and South East Asia, Africa and Latin America.
When a shareholder raised a question on the break-even point for Nano, Tata said that would be difficult to tell but added: 'The project will be profitable as soon as we reach the rated production.'
He also emphasised on the increasing competition and changing dynamics of the industry as companies worldwide worked on new technologies to save fuel or boost environment-friendliness. He said the company will launch an electric car in the UK by the end of this year.
Tata Motors also plans a newer entry version of its luxury sedan Jaguar.