Tata Motors still looking for a partner for new vehicle platform: CEO Guenter Butschek
Mumbai: Tata Motors Ltd is still looking for partnership with other global auto companies for its new advanced modular platform (AMP) despite talks with Volkswagen group firm Skoda failing to fructify, according to CEO Guenter Butschek.
Tata Motors is seeking to share its new AMP vehicle platform with potential partner to bring volume and create economies of scale, while also creating access to new technologies keeping in mind future opportunities in the Indian market, Butschek said.
“We are still seeking for opportunities... We are still open and we are still elaborating opportunities... We are open for all kind of collaborations,” Butschek told PTI. The CEO, however, said there are no particular companies to name as potential partner at present.
Earlier in August, Tata Motors and Skoda decided not to pursue their proposed long-term partnership due to feasibility issues, just over four months after they had entered into the agreement.
He said from a technical feasibility point of view, there would have been a “lot of good reasons” to continue with the Volkswagen/Skoda partnership but “it was not only about technical feasibility in terms of product attributes, cost and rate and performance”.
“It was also about certain expected financial thresholds, seeming opportunities, leveraging the volume and bringing economies of scale to the two of us. Where at the end of all of the discussion, we were on both sides short against initial expectations,” Butschek said.
According to Butschek, Tata Motors’s motive behind seeking a partner for AMP was to share the platform to bring volume and create economies of scale, create access to “new technologies in the future where we see opportunities and needs in the Indian market”.
“This has not changed because we can accomplish a lot by leveraging on AMP for different top head across different segments,” Butschek said. “We expect a lot of as far as volume perspective is concerned in future since the market is expected to rapidly grow in the next ten years but we will not get anywhere close to the volume game as displayed by the competition.”
Tata Motors had in February announced that it planned to launch new vehicles on its AMP from 2018 and reduce the number of vehicle platform to two from the current six. It is looking to deliver 7-8 product variants from the two platforms. As far as partnership with Skoda is concerned, he said the “story has been formally suspended”.
“It does not mean that we don’t find other projects where we could cooperate. As far as AMP is concerned, we have made up our mind. We have decided to go with AMP. Skoda is going to go ahead with MQB platform,” he added.
Based on the now suspended alliance with Skoda, Tata Motors had planned to launch products in the Indian market starting calendar year 2019. On the other hand Skoda Auto was to take the lead on behalf of the Volkswagen Group to drive forward work towards development of vehicle concepts in the economy segment.
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