Tata Motors rolls out first CityRover

MUMBAI: After Indica and Indigo comes the Tata CityRover!

In what is being referred to as a momentous occasion for India’s indigenous automobile industry, Tata Motors rolled out the first batch of CityRover cars, to be marketed by MG Rover in the highly competitive UK and European markets.

Tata Motors (formerly TELCO) is India’s largest integrated automobile manufacturing company founded in 1945. The agreement between Tata Motors and MG Rover was inked in December 2002. Manufactured at Tata Motors’ Pune plant, the CityRover will be marketed through Rover’s wide dealer network in the UK and in continental Europe.

Tata Motors executive director Dr Sumantran handed over the first CityRover to MG Rover CEO Kevin Howe at its ceremonial roll-out off the assembly-line at the Tata Motors plant in Pune.

MG Rover's Howe drove the CityRover at the Tata Motors factory and expressed his pleasure with the car, “In order to effectively meet the market requirements of the UK, we felt the need to introduce a small car which would target the ‘city car sector’. Tata Indica is a product of international standards that fits in perfectly with our requirement as the basis for the CityRover. The CityRover will help us open a new customer segment in the highly competitive UK market," Howe adds.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Sumantran said, "The Indica’s success in the domestic market has been due to its strong value proposition, and its emergence on the international automobile market is a natural progression. The CityRover retains all the attributes of the Indica which have made it one of India’s biggest successes, while introducing into the car characteristics which are unique to Rover and therefore suited to that brand and the driving environment in the UK and Europe."

Tata Motors will continue to market the Tata branded Indica through its existing network in Continental Europe. This agreement between Tata Motors and MG Rover is being seen by the global automobile industry as the coming of age of India’s automotive Industry and is an affirmation of Tata Motors’ product development and manufacturing expertise.

The CityRover is being positioned as an attractive modern ''city car sector'' small car that provides the most competitive value-for-money blend of space, performance and specification available in the ?6,500-?8,500 price band. The ''city car'' sector of the overall European small car market accounted for 1.1 million sales in 2002 and provides a significant market for the CityRover.

The CityRover will be available in the UK and later in continental Europe through the Rover dealer network in four versions, namely, 'Solo', 'Sprite', 'Select' and 'Style' to suit the lifestyle requirements of its diverse customer base.

The CityRover models will be powered by a 1.4 litre petrol engine, with an alloy cylinder head, single overhead camshaft and multi-point fuel injection. It develops 85Ps at 5500rpm, and a solid 115Nm of torque at 3000rpm and has a five-speed manual transmission. The CityRover has an all-independent coil sprung suspension for excellent ride and handling characteristics.

Tata Motors, has a wide product range of commercial vehicles, utility vehicles and passenger cars. The company’s passenger car product portfolio includes the luxurious Sports Utility Vehicle - Tata Safari, the Sumo; and Spacio range of Utility Vehicles Tata Indigo, the largest selling mid-size entry vehicle; and Tata Indica, India’s indigenously developed compact car.

Internationally, the MG Rover Group sells cars in more than 65 markets. The company has wholly owned sales organisations throughout major European markets, including the UK. The company engineers, produces and markets cars, which carry the MG and Rover brands.

The MG Rover Group is owned by Phoenix Venture Holdings Limited, a British-owned company. The company was formed following the purchase of the Rover Group from BMW in May 2000. The total group had an annual sales volume in excess of 150,000 units in the year 2002.

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