Tata invest in UK

Two stories today where TATA group companies are making new investments in the UK.

One is Jaguar Land Rover (TATA MOTORS) announced a £355m engine plant in Wolverhampton, which will create 750 skilled jobs.

Guardian/ jaguar-land-rover-plant-midlands

Another is TATA Steel to make new military armour at Port Talbot.

Wales Online super bainite at Port Talbot.

It will be interesting to see how quickly the new site can be built in UK compared to building in India, where public protest has slowed several projects, and to know if that had any role in the decision by TATA to opt to build this plant in the UK. Tata experienced problems in building of Tata `Nano’ car plant, and Posco has faced many delays in building a new steel works.

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Corus Teeside

2005 – Consortium starts with plan for 10 years of production.

Corus Press Release May 2009, Consortium’s termination of contract triggers consultations on future of Teesside.

2009 – a song.

2009 – 3000 march at Redcar to protest against closure of the Teeside plant.

BBC news 4 Dec 20091,700 jobs to go as production scaled down

Kerby Adams (CEO Tata Steel Europe) press statement

B Muthuraman, says future of Teeside in Employees hands, and they have to cut costs (Oct 2009)Video, Full Story.

BBC news 15 Dec 2009 – how much will loss of 1,700 jobs cost local community?.

Mini vs. Nano, price comparison

How does the Tata Nano compare against the British equivalent the Mini which became an iconic car of the 1960s?

Original price of Mini was UK£ 497 when it was released in 1959. Competitors immediately bought one, and took it apart to see how it could be made so cheaply – they were confused, each mini should make a loss.

mini

Mini Car

Nano was priced at release on 17th of July 2009 at Rs 100,000, which is around UK£ 1360.

nano

Nano Car

So how do these prices compare?

Using this website
£497 from 1959 is equivalent to:
£8,656.34 using the retail price index.
or £21,038.85 using average earnings.

So from this we can see that Tata nano is around 6 times less than the mini was. It would probably more accurate to compare mini against 1959 average UK wage, and nano against 2009 average wage in India.

If average earnings in India are £3,500 (27 0000 Indian rupees) then this Tata nano price is about equivalent to the mini at release in 1959.

Tata Nano hits the roads soon.

BBC is reporting on the launch of the nano, and asking people is the Nano good for India?. Nay-sayers are complaining about the possible environmental impact of western style development in India. Yay-sayers support the effort to include those unable to purchase a car. Tata nano could have a positive impact upon air pollution in cities if it replaces older two-stroke two-wheelers, since I understand it should run on cleaner burning LPG fuel.

The release of the nano should add around 3% to the earnings of TATA group, which made losses in the last quarter after problems re-financing acquisitions in such as that of Jaguar and range rover from ford, due to the credit crunch. The manufacture of the nano has been delayed by cynical protests against building of the plant, and is currently being made in lower numbers in existing TATA motors plants, while a new facility has had to be relocated.

The world is still waiting to see if TATA can also develop an electric version.

Top Gear Show Nano

Top gear mentioned the Tata Nano in their news segment, seemingly just to make fun of this tiny car.

Tata Nano on Top gear news segment

Pikachu on left and Tata Nano on right
Pikachu on left and Tata Nano on right

After pointing out the similarity of the luxury version of the car to Pokemon Pikachu, saying they had kept the cost down by copying the design from the cartoon character, they said that the economy version is pulled by a mule.