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Tata Motors to boost UK engineering base with the University of Warwick

Professor Lord Bhattacharyya with Nick Fell, Director of Tata MotorsThe UK’s technology base was given a major boost today when Tata Motors’ European Technical Centre (TMETC), a wholly-owned UK-based subsidiary of Tata Motors, announced that it will be expanding its partnership with WMG at the University of Warwick. TMETC plans to increase their team of highly skilled engineers working on the campus by 40% over the next two years.

Tata Motors has invested over £85m in automotive R&D at TMETC since it was established on the University Campus in 2005 and it already has a team of 240 engineers and researchers working alongside WMG colleagues, with 60 of these hired over the last 12 months due to increased R&D investment. TMETC announced that it aims to increase the engineering and research force by a further 100 to 340 by 2013.

The New Tata Pixel concept car, unveiled in March 2011Dr Tim Leverton, Head of Advanced and Product Engineering at Tata Motors Limited said “Today’s announcement represents a further demonstration of Tata’s long-term commitment to build and develop R&D facilities here in the UK. TMETC plays a vital role in Tata Motors global R&D network. Tata Motors gets access to world class thoughts, skills and technologies through the TMETC and its collaboration with WMG. The contribution of TMETC and WMG is important to Tata Motors product development”.

TMETC’s engineers, who have extensive experience in automotive research, design and development, work alongside WMG researchers in Low Carbon Technology collaborative R&D programmes. The focus on Low Carbon Technology has already started to produce tangible results, for example Tata Motors’ Vista Electric Vehicle which will be built at a factory in Coventry and will be available to fleet customers in the UK later this year.

Tata Motors’ Pixel City Car, which was unveiled by the Chairman, Ratan N. Tata, and Managing Director & Group CEO, Carl-Peter Forster at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month, has also been developed on WMG campus. Based on the Tata Nano, the Tata Pixel is a concept car aimed at the European market and features a Zero Turn Infinitely Variable Transmission which gives it a turning circle radius of just 2.6 metres, making it ideal for driving in dense urban environments.

Nick Fell, Director of TMETC, said “WMG and TMETC are building on five years of successful partnership to further grow TMETC’s presence at the University of Warwick. We plan to further increase our team on the campus by up to 100 over the next two years, and are discussing establishing test and development facilities here. This shows a clear commitment to build and develop our R&D and facilities here in the UK in collaboration with WMG for the long term.”

This was supported by WMG Director, Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, who said “Technology businesses such as Tata are crucial to us solving global challenges that will require new thinking energy, climate change related technologies. Tata’s work alongside WMG will meet those challenges and will even lead the field in new low carbon technologies. Tata’s Pixel concept city car is a clear symbol of Tata’s current technological prowess and its future aspirations.”

The announcement comes shortly after research by the Council for Industry and Higher Education which indicates that Britain’s manufacturing sector could be re-energised by a closer collaboration between companies and the science and technology departments at top universities.

Notes to editors

1. Tata Motors is India's largest automobile company, with consolidated revenues of Rs. 92,519 crores ($20 billion) in 2009-10. Through subsidiaries and associate companies, Tata Motors has operations in the UK, South Korea, Thailand and Spain. Among them is Jaguar Land Rover, the business comprising the two iconic British brands. It also has an industrial joint venture with Fiat in India. With over 5.9 million Tata vehicles plying in India, Tata Motors is the country’s market leader in commercial vehicles and among the top three in passenger vehicles. It is also the world's fourth largest truck manufacturer and the second largest bus manufacturer. Tata cars, buses and trucks are being marketed in several countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia and South America. (

2. Tata Motors European Technical Centre plc (TMETC) was founded by Tata Motors Limited (TML) in September 2005 to provide state-of-the-art engineering competence to TML and to the global automotive engineering industry. TMETC’s engineering team is based at the International Automotive Research Centre at the University of Warwick Campus, in Coventry, UK, with significant automotive engineering experience gained in Global Vehicle Manufacturers, Tier1 Suppliers and Engineering Consultancies.

3. The Tata Motors Vista EV, a final production version of the Vista EVX which won two trophies at last year’s Royal Automobile Club’s Brighton to London Future Car Challenge, is a fully-electric 4-seater family car with impressive performance characteristics such as 110 miles range and a top speed of 71 mph, making it ideal for city driving as well as commuting and motorway cruising, alongside conventionally powered vehicles. It will be available to fleet customers in the UK from early summer this year.

4. Based on the Tata Nano, the Tata Pixel – at just over three metres in length – is the most package efficient four-seater in the world, comfortably accommodating four adults. The Tata Pixel’s ability to manoeuvre and park in the tightest of spaces is made possible by its Zero Turn toroidal traction-drive Infinitely Variable Transmission (IVT), which assists rotation of the outer rear wheel forwards and the inner rear wheel backwards, while the front wheels turn at acute angles. The result is a turning circle radius of just 2.6 metres. The 'scissor' doors rotate upwards from the front to allow passengers to effortlessly enter or exit the Tata Pixel, even in the tightest of spaces. The Tata Pixel is also designed to provide a high level of connectivity. Key functions are controlled by the driver’s smart phone, running ‘My Tata Connect’ -- the first integrated human-machine interface (HMI) concept from Tata Motors.

5. WMG, formerly known as Warwick Manufacturing Group, was founded by Professor Lord Bhattacharyya in 1980 in order to reinvigorate UK manufacturing. Its mission is to improve the competitiveness of companies through the application of value adding innovation, new technologies and skills deployment, bringing academic rigour to industrial and organisational practice.

They are an international group with collaborative centres in the UK, China, India, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore and Thailand. As an academic department of the University of Warwick we occupy a unique position between academia and industry. Its success over the past 30 years is the result of cutting edge research and effective knowledge transfer, working with global companies to develop innovative products and processes to real world problems. The strength of its expertise spans three capability areas: digital technologies; materials and manufacturing plus operations and business management.

They are an international centre for world class management studies, offering unrivalled postgraduate and professional education programmes. Collaborating with over 500 UK companies, we have developed a focused programme based on real world scenarios that enables managers and leaders to succeed in a constantly changing global environment.

Contact details

Dr. Omar Hadded
Vice President, Commercial & Marketing
Tata Motors European Technical Centre plc
Phone: +44 (0) 2476 150 108

Peter Dunn
Head of Communications
University of Warwick
Phone: +44 (0) 2476 523 708

George Farquhar
Vice President
Phone: +44 (0) 207 269 7213