Sweet Revenge by Ratan Tata
As we all know, one of India’s leading automotive company TATA motors has excelled in the automotive industry in India and international markets; but least do we know about the company’s past ventures and tie ups with other automotive companies.
It all dates back to 1999 when a team from Tata motors headed by Ratan Tata himself went to Detroit to sell their passenger car business to automotive giant – Ford Motors. Tata was forced sell its debut hatchback Tata Indica as it had faced a bad response after its launch in 1998. After many intensive sessions of discussions and meetings between the two companies, Ford refused the offer made by Tata. “They told us ‘You do not know anything, why did you start the passenger car division at all’. They said they will do us a favour by buying our car division” a Tata Group veteran said, while recalling a meeting of Ratan Tata and other top executives with Ford officials in Detroit in 1999. The same evening Ratan Tata decided to fly back to New York along with his team and during the 90 minute flight Ratan Tata was very upset after the long meeting as it did not fetch any good results. After 9 long years when Tata was at its best in the Indian market as well as international market, Ford faced a similar drop due to the global financial meltdown in 2008. Ford had put up its Jaguar and Land Rover for sale. This time Tata had purchased the JLR from Ford for 2.3 billion USD and Tata were now the proud owners of JLR. “Come 2008, the same Ford’s JLR was bought by Tata, Ford chairman Bill Ford thanked Tata, saying ‘You are doing us a big favour by buying JLR“.
This was the sweet revenge taken by Ratan Tata and today Tata motors are leading in the passenger car segment in India with some of their refined car models such as the Tata Zest, Bolt and the upcoming Tata Hexa.