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Tata Motors should be more mature by 2020: Ratan Tata

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Tata group chief Ratan Tata has said by 2020 Tata Motors should be "more mature" and have the capability to develop products with "reliability, finish and technology" as it "may still be sub-scale by international standards" at present.

 In an interview to a market research firm, Tata said the homegrown auto major wanted to bring in world-class products in the next decade to meet customers' needs.

"I think we have economies of scale in some of the segments in which we operate, but on the whole, we may still be sub-scale by international standards.

 "My aim for Tata Motors is that we should have the capability of developing good automobiles in terms of reliability, finish and technology," Tata said in 'India Automotive 2020: The Next Giant from Asia'.

He said the company's endeavour to develop products with better technology had been hampered by the abnormally high prices of critical components such as automatic transmissions.

The company is also finding it economically unviable to import the crucial components, which are not easily available in India, because of very high customs duty.

"So we have to keep on developing these components ourselves, which is very time consuming and is not our core business. We want to bring in world-class products and have been working hard to improve the build quality and reliability of our vehicles," he added.

For this purpose, Tata favoured cutting import duties on vehicles and components coming from overseas.

"If the tariff barriers go down, we may have the luxury of buying a product to fill the gap in our range, and not develop a product, which is very expensive and wasteful for us," he added.

He said that by 2020, Tata Motors should be "a more mature company with better products, newer technology and wider range of products to suit customers' needs".

About the role that the British subsidiary Jaguar Land Rover is likely to play in Tata Motors' growth, the industrialist said there was a possibility of "great synergy" between the two firms in engineering and development area.

"We are looking at joint engine projects and common platforms for the future, which would help to improve economies of scale. However, the brands will remain distinct in terms of their positioning and retail strategy," Tata said.

Going along in the future, JLR will find an inexpensive way of doing something, while Tata Motors will find a better way of doing something, he added.