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Chairman's Speech (Tata Motors) Year : Mar '15
CHAIRMAN'S MESSAGE
 
 Dear Shareholders,
 
 Despite some setbacks, uneven global recovery continued in 2014.  This
 was largely due to weaker- than- expected global activity in the first
 half of 2014. The changes are to a large extent a result of greater
 volatility and uncertainty, presenting a higher risk for the global
 economy in 2015. The rapid decline in oil prices and quick adjustments
 in exchange rates-the appreciation of the US dollar and weakening of
 most other currencies, notably the euro-have had a major impact on
 global trade flows. Europe remains tense as issues around the Greek
 economy gather greater scrutiny. In addition to this is the increased
 geopolitical uncertainty related to Russia-Ukraine and the Middle-East
 and some signs of economic slowdown in China. These are some of the key
 macro-concerns that have significant impact on our industry.
 
 THE GLOBAL AUTOMOTIVE MARKET
 
 Despite these geo-political uncertainties, the global automotive
 industry enjoyed a period of stronger growth and profitability, with
 annual sales recovering to pre-financial meltdown levels in some key
 markets like, NAFTA, UK, etc.
 
 Although the economic conditions and pace of recovery differed slightly
 among North American countries, consumer confidence, credit
 availability and pent-up demand have played a key role in a more
 sustained revival of auto demand in this region. However, Europe was
 weaker as the region is emerging from a sales slump that has lasted
 over six years. Sales in Russia and South America plunged. Asia-Pacific
 market posted strong growth mainly driven by China.
 
 INDIAN ECONOMY AND AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY
 
 India's GDP grew at a better pace, mainly towards the second half of
 the fiscal, at 7.3% in 2014-15. The basic parameters of the Indian
 economy signaled movement in the right direction. A reasonably better
 performance of the manufacturing sector, reduction in interest rates by
 RBI by 75 basis points, declining inflation aided by favorable global
 commodity prices like oil, all provided encouragement for an overall
 more positive economic outlook.
 
 In 2014-15, the Indian automotive industry registered a growth of over
 2.5 percent over last year, with overall automobile exports growing by
 5.2 percent. Growth in domestic passenger vehicles was stronger at 5.5
 percent with improving consumer sentiment on account of lower fuel
 price and interest rates. However, Commercial vehicles contracted by
 8.4 percent, mainly on account of significant decline in small
 commercial vehicles. Heavy trucks sales showed early signs of revival
 with increasing economic activities in the 2nd half of the year.
 
 In terms of policy shifts in the automotive space, the Indian market
 directionally moved towards safer and greener transportation.
 Implementation of the Bus Body code and greater safety norms, such as
 making anti-lock braking system (ABS) mandatory, are all welcome moves.
 Likewise, implementation of a carefully thought out set of inclusive
 and progressive emission standards will definitely have a positive
 impact enabling reduction of harmful emissions.
 
 OUR PERFORMANCE
 
 While FY 14-15 has been a challenging year for Tata Motors, it
 witnessed reasonable growth in certain key segments - Medium and Heavy
 commercial vehicles, and Compact Sedans. Tata Motors launched the new
 Zest that was well received in the market, followed with the launch of
 Bolt, towards the close of the fiscal. The Company further expanded its
 ULTRA range of light commercial vehicles and a new range of PRIMA LX
 trucks, both of which have demonstrated technological capabilities of
 the Company. Tata Motors also continued its unrelenting journey
 towards enhancing customer experience and achieving world- class
 quality through focused initiatives. Consequently, the Passenger cars
 business improved its ranking and scores in independent customer
 satisfaction and quality surveys. While these efforts helped in
 improving our competitiveness in the market, we still suffered market
 share loss in both the businesses in India with intensifying
 competition and entry of new players.
 
 For Jaguar Land Rover, this was the fifth successive year of solid
 growth and robust financial results. This is a reflection of strong
 product mix supported by the on-going success of the Range Rover, Range
 Rover Sport and the Jaguar F-TYPE. During the year, JLR revealed three
 Jaguars - the all-new XE, F-PACE and the new Jaguar XF, followed by the
 retail sales of the all-new Land Rover Discovery Sport. Jaguar Land
 Rover business posted impressive growth in UK, US, China, Europe and
 Asia Pacific. JLR also started its first overseas production in a joint
 venture facility with Chery Automobile Company Limited in China. This
 is a state-of-the-art facility with an annual capacity of 130,000
 units. JLR also demonstrated its commitment to UK's manufacturing
 industry by opening its first in-house Engine Manufacturing Centre in
 Wolverhampton for producing Ingenium engine family.
 
 LOOKING AHEAD
 
 The global economy going forward is expected to witness strong growth
 in certain key economies, but pace of growth is likely to remain
 uncertain in regions like Europe, Russia, LATAM, etc.
 
 In India, falling inflation, lower interest rates and lowering energy
 prices will continue to drive greater consumer confidence. The
 Government's focus on infrastructure investment, ease of doing business
 and Make in India initiative are efforts in the right direction
 for boosting investment in the country. Operationalising this
 vision into reality will be key to future growth of the economy and the
 Indian automotive industry as well.
 
 Tata Motors'strategy hinges on leveraging the long-term growth
 opportunity in Indian Automobile industry. India is forecast to witness
 multi-fold increase in motorisation as the working population and GDP
 per capita increases in the next ten years. The Company is therefore,
 consistently and strongly investing in products and technologies that
 would make it future ready and would also fuel international growth. As
 leaders in the Commercial vehicles industry, Tata Motors is developing
 a strong pipeline of products and solutions, keeping in mind changing
 customer preferences and regulations. In Passenger cars also, the
 Company will continue to excite the market with new innovative products
 that will seize the imagination of our customers. Customer- centricity
 and excellence in quality, which are two important pillars for securing
 sustained growth and success in future, will continue to get special
 emphasis in the Company. Actions on these two pillars, as well as on
 cost management, will be taken up with a sense of urgency.
 
 For Jaguar Land Rover, 2015-16 is expected to be another important year
 for its long-term growth plans. It plans to ramp up production at its
 new manufacturing facility in China. The new Ingenium engines
 manufactured in Wolverhampton, as it ramps up, will power string of new
 models like Jaguar XE, Discovery Sport, etc. This will help in further
 building sales momentum for both the brands. With continued investments
 in new products, the pipeline for the business remains strong for
 sustained growth in future. With all these actions in place, Jaguar
 Land Rover is well-positioned, strategically and financially, for
 sustainable growth in the future.
 
 Going forward, I wish all employees, our dealers and our partners from
 across the world all the very best, as we continue to work together, to
 deliver great products and services to our customers, and thereby also
 strengthen the Tata Motors brand. I take great pride in their effort,
 and I am as excited as they are, about our future.  With a passionate
 Tata Motors and Jaguar Land Rover team, a robust product plan and
 immense future possibilities, I look forward to a successful year
 ahead.
 
 Thankyou all for your continued support, which I greatly appreciate and
 cherish.
 
 Chairman
Source : Dion Global Solutions Limited
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