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Ratan Tata eyes stake in Ferrari

March 08, 2008 00:48 IST
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Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata has evinced interest in buying a stake in the world's best-known supercar manufacturing company, Ferrari.

Tata said this in an interview to L'Espresso, an Italian media company. An excerpt from the interview quoted Tata as saying, "I have two passions in my life -- cars and aircraft. I have always dreamt of being able to be a fighter pilot and I confirm my desire to participate in the shareholding of Ferrari."

On Tuesday, Tata had unveiled the Nano car at the Geneva Motor Show after it debuted in India in January 2008.

Rumours were also doing the rounds about Tata signing on the dotted line to buy the two luxury marques -- Land Rover and Jaguar from Ford Motor Company -- during his visit to the European region.

In 2006, Fiat raised its stake in Ferrari to 85 per cent, buying back stakes sold to financial investors, and has an option on a further 5 per cent sold to Arab Emirates' Mubadala Development.

Tata joined the board of Fiat in May 2006 after the Italian car maker's shareholders approved of it at the annual general meeting in Turin.

His name was proposed by the Agnelli family, which controls IFIL, a company that holds 30 per cent stake in Fiat SpA.

In India, both companies share a close manufacturing and marketing relationship for cars made by both the companies using the joint manufacturing facility based in Ranjangaon, in Maharashtra.

In addition, Fiat-owned brands, including Ferrari and Alfa Romeo (both supercar brands), will be made available in the country with the help of Tata Motors.

Both companies are working for development of newer products to be sold in India and overseas markets.

Products made by Tata Motors will be marketed by Fiat in the Latin American countries and also in the European regions using Fiat's distribution network.

Earlier, Ratan Tata was invited by Ferrari and Fiat Chairman, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, to visit Italy, Cordero's hometown, to see what the country offers in terms of business prospects.

"The country offers a lot of oppurtunities in the design and luxury sectors," added the Tata boss.

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