London: Tata Group head, Ratan Tata, feels that after the successful launch of his dream project -- the Rs one-lakh car-- will ideally be the nice time for him to retire from active business life, reported Financial Times.
“In an ideal world, after the small car has been launched and is successful, that would be a nice time for me to exit,” the newspaper quoted Tata as saying.
Tata Motors, the automotive arm of the over Rs three- trillion market value group, is scheduled to unveil the vehicle, touted as the world’s cheapest mass-produced car, on 10 January at an auto expo in New Delhi.
Rival car makers are, however, not convinced about the safety and emission standards of the car, coming as it is at that price level.
Reacting to this, Ratan Tata said that “we are producing a car that will be no more polluting than a motorcycle.”
He has been further quoted as saying, “as we are not going to produce millions and millions of them, inundating the country, we will not be adding to the carbon footprint on a per-passenger basis.”
The report said that there was a big gap between the cost of the average two-wheeler and entry-level cars such as the Maruti 800, which retails for about Rs1.97 lakh ($5,000), and Tata plans to fill it.
“The only reason we did not make the Rs one-lakh car a hybrid, for example, is that it could not have been priced at Rs one lakh,” said Tata, who celebrated his 70th birthday on 28 December.
When asked whether he has “the fire in his belly for a further five years,” Tata told the daily, “Not Really.”
The ’Financial Times’ said that Tata would be one of the most visible faces of the new India in 2008.
The other two named in the list of “Faces of Enterprises” include Marc Simoncini and Elon Musk.
Simoncini, 44, has founded, invested in and managed a succession of software and internet companies during his colourful business career and runs Meetic, Europe’s largest online dating agency, it said.
“Musk is CEO, majority owner, and head rocket designer at SpaceX, an aerospace start-up in El Segundo, California, that by 2011 plans to be hauling astronauts to and from the International Space Station,” the daily said.