Tata Motors, Skoda find no common ground, call off JV talks

Tata Motors, Volkswagen's Skoda Auto to call off proposed alliance

Skoda was exploring a possible entry-level auto platform together with the Indian manufacturer, using Tata's AMP vehicle platform as a basis, a VW group source told the news agency Reuters. If the plan materialised, it would have given Skoda access to Tata's AMP modular platform and the first vehicle to be built on the platform was expected to be rolled out in 2019.

Skoda dropped the idea of developing the AMP platform because of fears that it would need significant further investment to meet future crash-test and emissions requirements, said a VW Group source, who declined to be named.

"We have assessed the technical feasibility and degree of synergies for the visualized partnership".

But although Tata Motors and Germany's VW Group - which owns Volkswagen, Skoda and Audi - have kept the door open for future partnerships, according to The Economic Times, people in the know of the matter ruled out the possibility of them renewing the talks, at least in the near future. "We have concluded that the strategic advantages for both parties are listed below the threshold levels", stated Tata Motors CEO Guenter Butschek. In the quarter ending in June, the Indian operations of Tata Motors posted a net loss of 4.67 billion rupees compared with a 260-million-rupee profit a year ago.

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The decision to call off the agreement comes amid mounting losses at Tata Motors India operations and efforts to turn around the business.

Both firms have had a patchy innings in a market that is poised to become the world's third largest by 2020.

The cooperation was to be focused on India, a market dominated by Tata Motors and low-priced cars on which Volkswagen has little presence, as well as other countries in the Indian subcontinent. Talks included the joint development of vehicle components and concept cars. VW "will now seek new synergies with Volkswagen's MQB platform", the source added.

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