With Tata Sons winning the bid for the Air India group, it seems as if the airline has returned to its rightful owners. It was under the leadership of Shri. J.R.D Tata that Air India was once dubbed as one the best airlines in the world. And that’s not all, the Tata group has over the years, led several industries to greater heights thanks to its visionary approach and progressive leadership. And one such name is the Jaguar Land Rover Group, which reached new heights when Shri. Ratan Tata took over. So here’s how Shri Ratan Tata changed the game with JLR Group.
From JLR to Tata JLR: The Genesis
It all started back in 1999 when Shri. Ratan Tata who was then the chairman of the Tata Group faced humiliation when he and his team went to sell Tata Group’s fledging car business to auto giant Ford in Detroit. As recollected by one of Tata’s teammates, “They told us ‘you do not know anything, why did you start the passenger car division at all’. They said they will do us a favour by buying our car division”.
Irked by the humiliation faced, Ratan Tata decided not to sell Tata’s passenger car division, despite a huge downfall the division faced owing to Indica’s massive failure. He along with Praveen Kadle continued to work on Tata Motors passenger car division, putting in blood, sweat and everything else they had. Over the years, Tata’s business flourished, with Tata Motors being listed in the NY Stock Exchange as well.
9 years after the “humiliation” life took a full circle. The American automotive giant Ford was on the verge of filing bankruptcy post the 2008 financial meltdown, when Shri Ratan Tata and his team stepped in and humbled the auto giant, by taking over the iconic Jaguar Land-Rover brands through a historic $2.3 billion, all-cash transaction. This was the sweet revenge Shri. Ratan Tata took, without a pinch of ego.
The Aftermath of the Acquisition
Before the taking over took place, the JLR group was going through a rough patch. Its retro designs were dubbed age-old and outdated, while its powertrain didn’t manage to compete with new and efficient diesel engines.
But as a true India, Shri Ratan Tata did not acquire the JLR group only to taste revenge or prove what he and his team were capable of, but he did so, in order to revive the JLR group which was a prestigious name in the automotive sector.
Soon after the acquisition, Tata Motors focussed on three arenas – improving liquidity, cost control and new products. With this philosophy, the Tata led JLR group invested more towards research and developments and new products. The group invested about 14 per cent of its annual revenues in these sectors which was much higher than the industry standards of five per cent back then.
Tata led Jaguar Land Rover: A New Dawn
People called him crazy, inexperienced and all sorts of things. But Shri Ratan Tata and his team did not back down. With a futuristic approach, visionary views, and unmatched leadership, Jaguar Land Rover completed ten years with the Tatas in 2018. In that period, sales jumped from less than 200,000 units a year to more than 600,000 units. The company also managed to set new standards of automotive technologies, engineering excellence, and advanced design that are also acknowledged through multiple awards for its various models.
Tata JLR also launched the Jaguar I-PACE, the world’s first fully electric premium SUV, in 2018. The Jaguar I-PACE bagged the “World Car of the Year”, “World Design of the Year” and “Green Car of the Year” awards in 2019. The Tata led JLR group also launched the Jaguar XF Sport brake and the first plug-in hybrid models of the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, in 2018.
In just a decade, the Tata led JLR group soared to new heights thanks to Shri Ratan Tata and his team. Hoping that Air India too will witness the glorious evolution, this was all about Shri Ratan Tata and how he changed the game for the JLR Group. Stay pinned to the GoMechanic Blog for everything automotive.