New Delhi: Come Sunday, India’s automobile industry will achieve a unique distinction of showcasing both the world’s cheapest car Nano and two of the costliest brands — Jaguar and Land Rover — from the Tata Group.
After acquiring the two British marques last year, the country’s largest auto maker Tata Motors will formally launch the Jaguar and Land Rover (JLR) showroom in India on 28 June. And, within a few days, Ratan Tata’s dream car Nano — touted as the world’s cheapest — will hit the roads.
The two iconic brands will sell a range of vehicles in the country, including Jaguar’s XF and XKR, and Land Rover’s Discovery and Range Rover.
JLR is likely to begin selling its range of premium performance saloon cars and sports utility vehicles in the Indian market later this year, for which Tata Motors is the exclusive importer.
The premier car division, formed by the Tata Motors passenger car business unit, will distribute the cars in the country and open the first showroom at Ceejay House in Mumbai.
The brands have their presence in the country in very small numbers through some independent importers.
In March, Tata Motors unveiled the much-hyped Nano --
By 06261535 DELHI
touted as the world’s cheapest car -- in the country. Offered at an ex-factory price of Rs 1 lakh, the deliveries of the small car will start next month. The company has shortlisted 1.55 lakh customers for handing over the cars in two phases.
The Indian auto major had acquired JLR last year for $2.3 billion from US car maker Ford. To fund this, Tata Motors had taken a $3 billion bridge loan.
The purchase consideration of JLR included the ownership of the two brands or perpetual royalty-free licences of all necessary intellectual property rights, manufacturing plants, two advanced design centres in the UK, and the worldwide network of national sales companies.
On refinancing the $3 billion bridge loan, Tata Motors has paid $2 billion and amended the bridge finance loan agreement, under which the car maker will have to repay the remaining $1 billion by 2010.
Tata Motors had been struggling to raise long-term funds to replace the bridge loan. In July last year, it had got Board approval to raise up to Rs7,200 crore through three simultaneous but separate rights issues.
Subsequently, it came up with two separate issues to raise Rs4,147 crore, which met with cold response from investors and the promoters had to subscribe and increase their stake to 42% from the earlier 33%.
Tata Motors then borrowed from the public, first since 1995, which it termed as an ongoing requirement, in December, 2008, offering up to 11% annual interest for up to three years.