Ratan Tata doesn’t mince words. He kept that reputation intact in his last annual general meeting as Tata Motors Chairman on Friday. Tata said it was a matter of “great shame” that the company allowed Mahindra & Mahindra to get ahead of it to claim the number three spot in passenger vehicle production.
M&M sold more passenger vehicles than Tata Motors in the first quarter of the current year to become the third largest passenger vehicle maker in the country. Though Tata Motors reclaimed that spot in July, Tata is hardly impressed.
“We should do a great deal of introspection as to why M&M is ahead of us. I have great respect for that company. But we should look at this in sadness that we let that happen. In the true spirit of the company, we should get back to that position,” Tata told shareholders.
The chairman wasn’t too happy with the sales volumes of the Nano either and said they should be increased so that the car achieved what it was built for. The company, which sells an average of 5,500-6,000 Nanos every month, said it should be selling 200,000 units by the end of 2012.
Tata also sought the support of the group’s shareholders for his successor Cyrus P Mistry, who will take over in December. “Cyrus Mistry has all the qualities and values to take the Tata Group in the direction that it has continued in all these years,” Tata said.
On his prized buy JLR, which helped the company post an over 12 per cent rise in net income in the June quarter, Tata said that more models and variants of the two brands are planned in the coming period. Tata also said the company was introducing a very competitive range of commercial vehicles, which could compete admirably with international players such as Merc, Volvo and Navistar.
Tata hinted the company might sell its 100 per cent subsidiary Tata Hispano Motors Carrocera, the Spanish bus making company. The subsidiary company, one of the largest bus and coach cabin makers in Europe, has been posting loses. As of the last financial year, Hispano recorded loses of Rs 98.25 crore.