Operations Management at Tata Motors

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Case Details:

Case Code : OPEA003
Case Length : 22 Pages
Period : 2003
Organization : Tata Motors
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : India
Industry : Automobile

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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If you introduce a new vehicle, for example, and the management cannot adequately determine what the market wants, the company is in trouble. Theoretically, the top managers of a company should take up the role of that ideal customer. They should be driving their competitors' vehicles, they should be driving the best-of-breed vehicles, and they should be making cost comparisons. "While a top manager should be the ideal customer, he should also be the greatest critic of his company's products. If the CEO compromises, or is only looking at the margins, then even if he is successful, the company's success will be short lived.

- Ratan Tata, the Chairman, Tata Group


In 2003, Tata Motors, earlier known as Tata Engineering and Locomotive Co. Ltd. (TELCO), was one of the largest companies in the Tata Group. Tata Motors* was India's leading commercial vehicle manufacturer and the third largest passenger car manufacturer.

Tata Motors was the sixth largest truck manufacturer in the world . In 2003, Tata Motors recorded net sales of Rs.9093.2 crores and a net profit of Rs.300 crores. The Tata Indigo was declared the best value for money car at the prestigious CNBC Auto Car Auto Awards 2003. Tata Indica had also received the voice of the customer award for the best diesel small car at NFO Automotive India 2002.

Operations Management Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing Management, Case Studies

In October 2003, Tata Motors received the Balanced Scorecard Collaborative Hall of Fame Award for having achieved a significant turnaround in its overall performance.

Background Note

In 1868, Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, the founder of the Tata group, started a private trading firm in Bombay with a capital of Rs.21,000. His travels in the Far East and Europe inspired him to start manufacturing cotton goods.

In 1874, the first Indian textile mill, The Central India Spinning, Weaving & Manufacturing Company, was established. In 1877, Jamsetji launched the famous Empress Mill in Nagpur. And in the same year, Tata and Sons was set up. In 1886, Jamsetji launched the Swadeshi Mills to mark the beginning of a movement to popularize the use of indigenous goods as opposed to British goods. This marked an important step forward in India's struggle for freedom. This mill was actively supported by Indian shareholders. Jamsetji foresaw the significance of the industrial revolution for India and spelt out the three basic ingredients that were needed for progress: Steel, hydroelectric power, and technical education.

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