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Daewoo Commercial acquisition part of global strategy: Ratan Tata

Raghuvir Srinivasan

Gunsan (South Korea) March 29

TATA Motors hopes to leverage the Daewoo Commercial Vehicle Company Ltd (DWCV) acquisition for its global plans in commercial vehicles.

Answering a question at the press conference that followed the share handover ceremony, the Chairman, Mr Rata Tata, said: "The acquisition of DWCV has certainly something to do with our global strategy. There are no specific plans as yet to enter China with the products of this company. The view is to make DWCV successful globally and if that includes China, it will happen that way."

Answering a question from a South Korean reporter on whether there is a possibility of importing the Indica and Indigo to be sold in the Korean market, Mr Tata said: "Anything is possible. If there were a market for our cars in South Korea we will assemble them from parts shipped from India rather than import them as fully built units. We have had this (pointing to the share certificate of DWCV) for just 15 minutes only now and it's too early to talk about the future."

He said that the vision driving the acquisition was that the two companies had a complementary range of products. DWCV can get medium commercial vehicles from Tata Motors while the latter will benefit from the heavy commercial vehicle portfolio of DWCV.

"The idea is to widen the range of DWCV's products by adding medium and small commercial vehicles and to make the company visible globally through joint efforts," Mr Tata said.

Tata Motors will offer its international marketing expertise, upgrade the existing products and offer new ones to DWCV, according to Mr Ravi Kant, Executive Director (Commercial Vehicles Business Unit), Tata Motors.

No specific decision on using the Tata or Daewoo brand for DWCV's vehicles has been made but the Official Receiver and President of DWCV, Mr Kwang Ok Chae, pointed out that the value of the Daewoo brand has been added to the sale price.

"Decision will be made based on future plans," Mr Ravi Kant said.

Doors open for more deals

The Daewoo acquisition appears to have opened the gates for further business deals between the Tata group and South Korean businesses. Though Mr Tata said that it was too premature to talk of other investments in South Korea, he also said that there have been talks with several Korean companies in more than one industrial sector and that it would not be appropriate now to disclose anything further.

Answering a question on whether any business meetings were scheduled for his trip, Mr Tata said: "I will be meeting with South Korean business leaders but that is more out of courtesy because of my presence here and not to discuss business deals for the Tata group."

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