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Tata Motors rides high with Bolt and Zest

India’s top carmaker unveils vehicles after four years

Published: Feb 5, 2014 06:55:41 AM IST
Updated: Feb 5, 2014 09:40:50 PM IST
Tata Motors rides high with Bolt and Zest

Tata Motors, unveiled two new cars on Wednesday—-their first such launch in four years—-in a bid to battle sliding domestic sales.

India’s top carmaker unveiled the Bolt, a premium hatchback, and Zest, an entry-level sedan, to tap into the small car market. However, the Forbes India team both the cars are uncannily similar in their looks to Tata’s own Indica Vista and competitor Maruti’s Dzire, respectively.

Tata’s last launch was the Aria crossover in 2010. Tata Motors officials said they also plan to launch an SUV, the Nexon, with advanced connectivity features.  

Regardless of the cheer surrounding the new cars, it will be a tough 2014 for Tata Motors. Analysts fear that the sudden death of its managing director Karl Slym—who is said to have committed suicide in Bangkok last month—could impact the company’s future. 

Tata Motors rides high with Bolt and Zest
Slym, who took charge in 2012, had plans to uplift the future of Tata Motors as a standalone entity. The company’s earnings almost entirely come from its marquee foreign brands Jaguar and Land Rover, which it bought from Ford Motors in 2008.

"While our hëadquarters may be in the UK, our spiritual home is India," Jaguar Land Rover’s head of communication Fiona Pargeter told Forbes Indian at the Auto Expo.

In its most recently reported second-quarter ended September, Tata Motors’ profit jumped by 71 percent to $558 million led by a robust performance by the Jaguar and the Land Rover. On its own, Tata Motors showed a loss of $129 million against a profit of $140 million a year earlier.

(This story appears in the 21 February, 2014 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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