Page last updated at 12:40 GMT, Wednesday, 9 July 2008 13:40 UK

Tata wants to launch Indica in UK

Current Indica
The current model will be replaced in India in the next few weeks

Indian car maker Tata intends to launch one of its best-selling models, the Indica, in the UK, the BBC has learned.

The car has been partially designed at Tata's technical centre in Coventry.

In 2003 an earlier version of the Indian company's car was branded as CityRover by MG Rover but criticised on the BBC's Top Gear programme.

Tata bought Jaguar and Land Rover, which employ about 16,000 staff in the West Midlands and Merseyside, from Ford last month in a £1.7bn deal.

The Indica could go on sale in the UK next year, BBC Midlands Today understands.

The Indian car maker's managing director, Ravi Kant, said it has learnt from the MG Rover experience over the car.

'Notice us'

Speaking to the BBC in India, he said: "We'll make sure that this time we are far more careful about our plans in the UK."

The current model will be replaced in India in the next few weeks and it is the new version which the company intends to launch in the UK.

Clive Hickman, who is one of the British engineers working in Coventry and India, said: "It is a step change in the quality of the vehicles we've been making in the past.

"Maybe that's something that will make people notice us a little bit more."

An automotive analyst with Ernst and Young, Eric Wallbank, said he believed British buyers would want an Indian car.

He said: "People are not particularly concerned about where the vehicle's come from that they buy.

"When Japanese cars first came here, people reacted quite negatively to those. They got used to the idea.

"(It was) the same with Korean brands when they came here."


SEE ALSO
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