After making rather disparaging remarks about the management culture at Jaguar Land Rover, Tata CEO Ratan Tata is attempting to do some major damage control after he criticized the Brits in a May, 2011 interview with The Times.
Although the article is hidden behind a pay wall, Tata is widely quoted as saying that “…nobody is willing to go the extra mile, nobody.” At the Delhi Auto Show, Tata essentially backtracked on his comments, saying his fairly explicit comments were misunderstood.
Tata is quoted as saying that what he really meant was that there was a culture gap. “What I meant was the cultures are very different and British managers move in a different way to Indians,” said Tata. “In India we tend to move from one crisis to another and so managers have to respond by working long hours and at weekends. In the UK there is not the need to operate in the same way. There was no intention to criticize the standard of engineering or management.”
It’s worth noting that Tata’s criticism did not extend to the rank and file workers at Jaguar Land Rover, whom he lauded for being willing to put in the long hours in a tight situation. The constant quality issues of Tata’s Nano were also addressed by the the company namesake, and plans are apparently still in motion to bring the car to Europe. Any exported Nano’s will have to be brought up to a certain standard of quality on par with JLR’s current offerings – as it stands now, the Indian market Nano, with its fire hazards and quality defects, mimics the reliability of another great Jaguar product, albeit with less panache and glamour.