New Delhi: Tata Motors and the world’s largest automaker Volkswagen, are likely to give a concrete shape to their ongoing ‘open-ended’ talks for partnership at the Geneva Motors Show scheduled for next month. The two companies are understood to have been holding discussions for a while over the possibility of joining hands and finding synergies, keeping in view the technological developments such as autonomous driving and shared mobility along with stricter emission norms challenging the automotive industry.
When contacted, a Volkswagen Group spokesperson said that it is committed to the Indian market, as the country is an integral part of its growth strategy ? especially among the emerging markets. “To enlarge the product portfolio with tailor-made solutions, for example in India, Volkswagen Group is discussing and defining these proactively with potential partners as well as between the brands of the Group. It is therefore, premature to make any further disclosures at the moment.”
With its future programme ‘TOGETHER ? strategy 2025’ Volkswagen Group empowers its brands with new responsibilities in the respective regions, the Volkswagen spokesperson added. Similarly, a Tata Motors spokesperson said: “As prevalent in the automotive industry, we regularly have discussions with different companies to explore future collaborations but we do not have any specific announcements at present.”
Industry sources said that the current discussions between the two companies are “wide ranging and open ended” with possibilities of technical collaboration and joint venture. “What is likely to happen in Geneva is that the two companies might agree on which direction to move ahead through a partnership,” a source said. Senior leaders from both the companies are involved in the talks, another source added. The Geneva International Motors Show will be held in the first half of next month. Tata Motors is expected to unveil its sports car at the show.
Tata Motors is looking to beef up its struggling passenger vehicles business with plans to move to AMP (advance modular platform) architecture by 2018 and cut down the number of platforms to just two from the current six. If Volkswagen and Tata Motors come together, they will be following the path of Japanese auto majors Toyota and Suzuki, who have recently agreed to begin concrete examinations for business partnership in areas like environment, safety and information technology along with supply of products and components.