Tata Motors, the Indian company that is developing the next model of MG Rover specifically for the UK market is showing their City Rover, which is set to go on sale in November.
Tata was a manufacturer of trucks which expanded into consumer cars in the late 1990s and is currently producing City Rover. City Rover at its plant in Pune located in Western Indian states of Maharashtra.
If the plan goes as planned the Tata’s partnership with MG Rover could expand into an arrangement wherein Indian-designed vehicles are built in the UK according to Tata director Ratan Tata.
The new car from MG Rover is based on the Indica
An exclusive conversation with BBC, Tata Motors boss Ratan Tata said he anticipates the two carmakers may work on new models together.
‘Not a flirtation’
The MG Rover’s newest small vehicle, The City Rover, is based on Tata’s Indica model which was the first car made and manufactured in India.
Ratan Tata, the boss of a business empire that includes telecoms, steelmaking as well as the Tetley tea business, claims the partnership to Rover is “a extremely serious relationship that is not a fling.”
In the event that City Rover project works, it was said that “the combined expertise and skills could be a fascinating combination.”
The Rover engineers at the Longbridge factory have been at Tata in Pune for the past couple of months, while the plant is preparing to begin production of the latest model.
A bit nervous, but also proud
When we went to visit the City Rover, a proud sign announced the success of the initial City Rover.
The managers at the time were reluctant to let us examine this front end of the vehicle as the finer details are being worked out. However, it is very similar to the Indica and has a more elegant trim and an Rover badge.
However, Tata states that it has altered to fit British roads. “It will be like an Rover,” a Tata manager said.
Ratan Tata said one way to strengthen the alliance could be the creation of new models that are designed in India followed by production at the UK.
“We will create efficiency and economics for ourselves, every time we expand our product line and taking on expenses,” the CEO said.
Workers who are cheaper
For Rover there’s one major benefit of building its new vehicle in India instead of Birmingham cost of labor.
Pradeep Mali is a 22-year-old who recently graduated from Tata’s apprenticeship scheme is earning around PS100 ($160) every month.
His British equivalent could earn fifteen times more, but Pradeep believes that he’s exactly the same proficient.
“We’ll make such high-quality products that it will be comparable with a European team,” he told me from the underside of a brand new Indica in the production line.
Tata is the biggest truck maker in India however, its move to put money into automobile production in the mid 90s , without collaborating with an international company was widely regarded as a risky gamble.
The Indica project is a success, however the next few months will reveal whether British motorists really desire to buy what is basically an Indian automobile.
Original article: news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3117520.stm