The global economic situation showed signs of strengthening, with US
economy speeding up, but the environment in the Eurozone remained weak
with some early signs of improvement. GDP growth in China and India
were low as compared to the high growth rates in the past. However,
both these economies continue to hold a great promise for leading
global growth in future.
The global auto industry recorded a surge in sales with impressive
growth,riding on the back of strong demand in the world''s top two
automobile markets – China and the United States. The automotive
industry in the US came back to strength from the poor period of
recession, supported by low interest rates and improving consumer
sentiment. Sales in China- the world''s largest auto market since 2009-
also crossed the 20 million cars mark. Pressure on local carmakers
built up, as foreign automakers stepped up their investments in China.
Europe did show some early signs of recovery, but with high levels of
unemployment continuing to prevail in southern Europe, a clear
turnaround was not visible. Consumer behavior in that region remains
INDIAN AUTO INDUSTRY AND TATA MOTORS
India''s GDP growth continued to be below 5% and Industrial growth
remained in negative territory. Consequently, the Indian auto industry
witnessed a decline in both passenger vehicles and in commercial
vehicles segment by 4.7% and 22.4% respectively. For most of last year,
the economy was hamstrung by rising infation and high interest rates,
leading to relatively low consumer interest in buying new vehicles,
and, in many cases, postponement of purchase. In the later part of the
year, reduction in excise duty and partial lifting of mining bans did
help in recovery of sentiment, but only to a limited extent. High
delinquencies in vehicle fnancing led to tightening of lending norms by
fnanciers, which badly impacted the sales of small commercial vehicles
and passenger cars.
Tata Motors domestic business, in this tough environment, lost market
share in both commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles business.
While the competition in both the segments remained quite aggressive
with almost all the players resorting to huge discounting, Tata Motors''
approach was cautious and responsible. As integral part of this
approach, the Company focused on keeping inventory levels low in order
to reduce the burden on its channel partners. On the product front, the
company showcased several impressive new products at the Auto Expo ''14,
with a lineup that included Tata Bolt and Tata Zest, due to be launched
in the coming months. Both the products have created high levels of
excitement among the potential customers. The new Prima LX and Ultra
range in commercial vehicles also showcased great promise to be
category leaders. They aptly demonstrate Tata Motors'' technological
capabilities and the company''s pursuit to ofer world-class products and
experience to its customers.
To ensure long-term competitiveness of Tata Motors, the company also
took several steps under the Horizonext strategy- new products, quality
improvement and enhancement of the consumer experience- that will help
improve sustainable proftability of the business in long-term. The
company has steadily progressed in all these areas and is inculcating a
culture which is intolerant to poor quality and absolutely committed to
JAGUAR LAND ROVER
For luxury cars, it was a record breaking year with most of the
manufacturers posting their highest ever sales. The US remains the
world''s largest market for luxury cars. China is close on its heels,
with further growth coming from Asia-pacifc region, Latin America and
the Middle East.
Jaguar Land Rover re-afrmed our confdence in the premium car market and
rewarded us by harnessing the opportunities created by rising demand
for high-performance luxury cars across the world. With its
extra-ordinary line-up of new exciting products, JLR posted record
sales of 434,311.The resolve, commitment and creativity of passionate
designers and engineers in JLR is indeed praise-worthy. Jaguar F-TYPE
managed to garner excellent reviews, while the new Range Rover and
Range Rover Sport were exceptionally well received.
We will remain committed to make investments in these two iconic brands
and plan to deliver a slew of new products during the next 5 years. JLR
will continue to expand its manufacturing footprint in growing markets
like China and Brazil,thus ofering consumers in these markets an even
greater opportunity to experience the cutting-edge technology and
design of Jaguar and Land Rover products.
The global economy is on the path of recovery, with consumer sentiment
showing signs of improvement in all the major markets. The auto
industry in India too, after one of its worst years, is seeing early
signs of recovery and renewed confdence amongst consumers,particularly
with a stable government at the centre. We expect a turnaround of the
industry by the later part of this fnancial year with a hope that the
Government would also come out with policy interventions that support
the growth of auto industry, given its critical importance to
development of the economy.
Tata Motors is working on a strong pipeline of new products and
technologies keeping in view the changing market, customers''
aspirations and regulatory needs. The company is at an infexion point
with its entire product portfolio being revamped with relevant and
exciting products for our target customers. Initiatives on cost-erosion
and customer experience are being pursued with great rigor to help
transform the organization into a more competitive and proftable
business in the coming years.
Our employees, suppliers and channel partners remain our major source
of strength. We sincerely thank them for their strong resolve and
commitment shown to the cause of the company. Even in very difcult
situations they have demonstrated utmost patience, understanding and
dedication. Finally, I wish to thank you, our shareholders, for
reposing faith in Tata Motors and its management, without which the
company could not have taken the bold steps and decisions required
towards making Tata Motors a respected global automobile company.