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Home > Business > PTI > Report

Tata would like to retire after Rs 1-lakh car launch

December 31, 2007 10:11 IST

Ratan Tata, Tata Group chairman. Photograph: AFP / Getty Images

Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata Group, feels that after the successful launch of his dream project -- the Rs 1-lakh car -- will ideally be the nice time for him to retire from active business life, a media report said in London.

"In an ideal world, after the small car has been launched
and is successful, that would be a nice time for me to exit," Tata told the Financial Times newspaper.

Tata Motors [Get Quote], the automotive arm of the over Rs 3-trillion market value group, is scheduled to unveil the vehicle, touted as the world's cheapest mass-produced car, on January 10 at an auto expo in New Delhi.

Rival car makers are, however, not convinced about the safety and emission standards of the car, coming as it is at that price level.

Reacting to this, Tata told the British newspaper that "we are producing a car that will be no more polluting than a motorcycle."

Tata told the Financial Times, which has named him among the three entrepreneurs making their presence felt around the world, "as we are not going to produce millions and millions of them, inundating the country, we will not be adding to the carbon footprint on a per-passenger basis."

The report said that there was a big gap between the cost of the average two-wheeler and entry-level cars such as the Maruti [Get Quote] 800, which retails for about $5,000, and Tata plans to fill it.

"The only reason we did not make the Rs 1-lakh car a hybrid, for example, is that it could not have been priced at Rs 1 lakh," said Tata, who celebrated his 70th birthday on December 28.

The Financial Times said that Tata would be one of the most visible faces of the new India in 2008.

When asked whether he has "the fire in his belly for a further five years," Tata told the daily, "Not really." The other two named in the list of "Faces of Enterprises" include Marc Simoncini and Elon Musk.

Simoncini, 44, has founded, invested in and managed a succession of software and internet companies during his colourful business career and runs Meetic, Europe's largest online dating agency, it said.

"The internet Cupid has sparked something of a sexual revolution across the continent. It has brought together thousands of lovelorn souls (resulting in an estimated 60,000 babies) and provided inspiration for France's budding capitalists," it noted.

"Musk is CEO, majority owner, and head rocket designer at SpaceX, an aerospace start-up in El Segundo, California, that by 2011 plans to be hauling astronauts to and from the International Space Station," Financial Times said.

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