Tata take another look at Thai market

Over a year ago Indian auto company Tata Motors had a flirt with Thai Rung Union Car Plc, but it resulted in a dead end. Now it seems that Tata have found a new partner to assist them in entering the Thai market.

Tata will have a very tough time breaking into the Thai market, primarily because they have chosen the most competitive segment of the market to attack... the 1 ton pickup truck market!

They better have something better than this planned for the Thai market. The TL is powered by a 2 liter turbo diesel, and apparently has such advanced features as "Headlamps", "Power steering", and "Ventilation". Apparently it is a class leading package in India.

According the the press release (below) the truck will be exported, and sold locally.

Tata Motors & Thonburi of Thailand set up joint venture in Thailand for pickup trucks

Tata Motors, India's largest automobile company, and Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant Co. (Thonburi), the Thailand-based independent assembler of automobiles, today announced formation of a joint venture company in Thailand to manufacture, assemble and market pickup trucks.

The joint venture agreement was signed today by the Managing Director of Tata Motors, Mr. Ravi Kant, and the Managing Director of Thonburi, Mr. Robru Viriyaphant.

The joint venture, in which Tata Motors will hold 70% of the equity and Thonburi 30%, will get vehicles manufactured in Thonburi's manufacturing facility. It will go on stream in a year's time.

The joint venture will facilitate Tata Motors address the Thailand market, the second largest pickup market in the world after the US. Both partners will jointly manage the operation. The pickup trucks will conform to international standards in quality and safety, and will be marketed in Thailand and exported to other potential markets in the region.

The Chairman of Tata Motors, Mr. Ratan N. Tata, said, "Introduction of Tata Motors pickup vehicles and a manufacturing facility in Thailand provide a unique opportunity to the company. We believe the joint venture will make meaningful impact in this most competitive market for pickup vehicles."

The Managing Director of Thonburi, Mr. Robru Viriyaphant, said, "The cooperation with Tata Motors offers Thonburi the opportunity to expand our business portfolio. Tata vehicles have dominated the Indian commercial vehicle market for decades and the company is now aiming for a stronger presence internationally. We are proud to be a part of this expansion strategy because of our great confidence in Tata products and technology. The new pickup truck will be the right product for both domestic and export markets."

About Tata Motors

Tata Motors is India's largest automobile company, with revenues of US$ 5.5 billion in 2005-06. With over 4 million Tata vehicles plying in India, it is the leader in commercial vehicles and the second largest in passenger vehicles. It is also the world's fifth largest medium and heavy truck manufacturer and the second largest heavy bus manufacturer. Tata cars, buses and trucks are being marketed in several countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia and in Australia. Tata Motors and Fiat Auto have formed an industrial joint venture in India to manufacture passenger cars, engines and transmissions for the Indian and overseas markets. Tata Motors already distributes Fiat-branded cars in India. The company’s international footprint include Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicle Co. Ltd. in South Korea; Hispano Carrocera, the reputed bus and coach manufacturer of Spain in which the company has a 21% stake; and a joint venture with Marcopolo, the Brazil-based body-builder of buses and coaches. Tata Motors has research centres in India, the UK, and in its subsidiary and associate companies in South Korea and Spain.