* Chairman says may consider U.S. Nano launch in 3 years
* Says no short-term objective in JLR buy
* Unveils three new models at New Delhi auto show
(Recasts; adds details, background)
By C.J. Kuncheria and Devidutta Tripathy
NEW DELHI, Jan 5 India's Tata Motors (TAMO.BO)
may consider launching its ultra-cheap Nano car in the United
States in three years, its chairman said on Tuesday, following
possible sales in Europe by the end of 2011.
"We also recognise there is a market (for the Nano) not
only in developing countries, but possibly in the developed
countries," Ratan Tata told reporters at the New Delhi auto
"For the United States we need a car which has a larger
engine and we need additional crash test modifications and we
are in the process of doing it."
The United States is the world's largest auto market, but
data this week should show China surpassed it with about 13
million vehicles sold in the Asian economic powerhouse this
The Nano, whose billing as the world's cheapest car gained
it significant attention from across the globe, was showcased
by Ratan Tata at the previous edition of the New Delhi autoshow
two years ago.
Tata has said his company may produce hybrid versions of
the model and that Italy's Fiat FIA.MI and Tata Motors plan
to sell the Nano jointly in Latin America.
NO "SHORT-TERM" OBJECTIVES FOR JLR
Analysts have fretted that Tata Motors has overstretched
itself by acquiring the Jaguar and Land Rover brands in 2008,
just before the global financial crisis erupted.
Tata brushed aside the concerns, saying the auto industry
had taken knocks, but the acquisition should be seen in the
context of long-term value it brought to the group.
"No one makes, or should make, an acquisition based on
short-term opportunistic objectives," Tata said.
"We believe the integration of the two companies and for
once, giving Jaguar and Land Rover an opportunity to make their
own destinies would be a change that might bring Jaguar back to
the kind of company it was."
Tata Motors recently reported a return to operating profit
for the JLR unit, suggesting cost cuts were bearing fruit and
new models were attracting buyers. [ID:nBOM33284]
Tata also said there was no plan to acquire one of Fiat's
manufacturing facilities in Italy, denying media reports.
Tata Motors, which has about 60 percent of India's truck
and bus market, launched a 7-seater multipurpose vehicles named
Tata Aria, an 8-seater Tata Venture and another vehicle named
Magic IRIS at the show.
It also showcased the Jaguar XJ sedan for the first time in
Toyota (7203.T) and Honda (7267.T) launched new compact
cars to tap the price-sensitive India market as they and other
automakers seek to put a dire 2009 behind them. [ID:nSGE60401E]
For a FACTBOX on car launches at the show, click
For a graphic on the India auto market, click
For more stories on Reuters India website, click
(Writing by Pratish Narayanan; Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)