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Over the course of this year, rumors have been building about Jaguar Land Rover and its parent company, Tata Motors, co-developing vehicles, especially SUVs. Up until now, the Indian company has generally left its luxury arm's tech and expertise alone. The latest evidence, though, suggests the two sides won't keep their engineering separate too much longer.
Since buying Jaguar Land Rover, Indian automaker Tata has generally left its luxury arm's platforms and technology alone. However, those days might be gone. The two of them are gradually growing closer with coordinated development and rumors of shared platforms. And it looks like all of that work and money is finally going to pay off with an actual vehicle in the near future.
Since Tata Motors bought Jaguar Land Rover in 2008, the companies have slowly begun working more closely together on development and production. However, they might be taking another big step because a recent report indicates that Land Rover and Tata may be working together on an SUV project for the Indian market.
As we noted last month, news of a Tata Nano diesel brought with it other news that the Indian car company would introduce a new sedan and hatchback, a hatchback with a rear hatch that actually opens. The company used the 2014 Auto Expo in Delhi to do just that, the Bolt hatch and Zest sedan introducing audiences to the unified marketing pushes called DesignNext, DriveNext and ConnectNext under the HorizonNext banner.
The managing director of Tata Motors, Karl Slym, was killed this past weekend, reportedly suffering a fall at a Bangkok hotel. Slym was in Thailand for a meeting with the board of director's for Tata's Thai outfit. The 51-year-old Brit joined Tata in October 2012, according to a report from the BBC, but he was also a veteran of Toyota in the UK and General Motors in India and China.
Police cars are meant to command respect from motorists. This is apparently not the case in India, though, where a Delhi-based electronics firm has modified the world's cheapest car into what may be the world's cheapest police car. Complete with a stylish, red-white-and-blue light bar, Grand IJS Electronics debuted a police-spec Tata Nano at the International Security Expo in New Delhi.
The success of Jaguar Land Rover in recent years has largely been down to a resurgent product lineup, but a recent move into the research and development will see the British-based, Indian-owned brands take the fight to its German rivals more aggressively than ever before.
The Tata Nano was heralded as the World's Cheapest Car when it chugged onto the automotive scene in 2009. Meant to be India's Volkswagen Beetle, BMC Mini or Ford Model T, the Nano, while accounting for 25-percent of Tata Motors' sales volume in fiscal year 2012, still saw its sales drop 27 percent over the same period.
Following the cancellation of the Melbourne Motor Show, it would appear that automakers in Australia are looking for creative new ways to show off vehicles to consumers. Enter the country's National 4x4 and Outdoors Show and Fishing and Boating Expo. India's Tata Motors has used this weekend's festivities to reveal an off-road concept version of its Xenon pickup called the Tata Xenon Tuff Truck Concept.
Aystery still shrouds the presence of Tata Motors in the US auto market. The Tata eMO concept car received a lot of attention and praise a year ago at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show as an "electric mobility study." Oh, and because it sported a $20,000 price tag and roomy interior. On the gasoline side of the ledger, the redesigned Tata Nano may or may not be available in the US within three years for under $10,000. But where does the eMO stand?
Tata's much ballyhooed Nano isn't exactly selling as expected in its home market of India, especially after the well-publicized fires engulfing the several examples of the world's cheapest car. Despite that, the head of Tata Group, Ratan Tata, says his company remains intent on bringing an updated sub-$10,000 Nano to the States, and he intends to do so in three years.
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