Tata-badged cars could start to appear on UK roads as soon as 2020, with fleets first to be offered the range, according to CEO Guenter Butschek.
Tata Motors, which is owned by Jaguar Land Rover parent company Tata Group, has a range of cars that it sells in its home market of India and elsewhere around the world, but not in Europe.
Speaking exclusively to Company Car Today at the Geneva motor show last month, Butschek (pictured) revealed that when Tata Motors begins a European sales operation it will start in the UK because its cars are already developed for right-hand drive and it has access to the JLR facilities.
He said: “The focus for us is safety and emissions standards before we can come to Europe. We’re getting close to NCAP and I am told by my engineers we will be at the latest Euro6 standards by April 2020.”
All new models launched from the start of 2020 will have to meet new, tougher, RDE2 emissions standards, while existing models, already on sale before 2020 won’t have to meet this standard until the start of 2021.
The corporate market is the key initial target for the brand when it launches in the UK. “We could get to the market much faster with fleet sales and with our electric car because setting up a retail network is extremely time-consuming and expensive.”
However, Tata would still need a support network for those fleet sales.
Tata, which produces more than 100,000 cars a year plus more than 200,000 LCVs, unveiled four global premiers and one European debut at Geneva. One of these was the Altroz EV (pictured right), an electric version of the firm’s hatch, which is expected to have a range of 150-200 miles.
The other three production car launches at Geneva from Tata were a conventionally powered Altroz which goes on sale in its home market in mid-2019, a seven-seat SUV called the Buzzard, and a smaller five-seat Buzzard Sport.
The Buzzard and Buzzard Sport (pictured bottom right) are based on the same platform as the Land Rover Discovery Sport and are powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine.
The Indian brand also revealed a city SUV concept car called the H2X which is similar in size to a Suzuki Jimny.