Autovolt Magazine

Tata Motors Invests in Long Term UK R&D Focussing on Hybrid & Electric Technology

Tata Motors Limited, India’s largest automobile manufacturer, has confirmed its long term commitment to advanced research and development in the UK through the participation of its subsidiary, Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC), in the National Automotive Innovation Campus (NAIC).

TMETC will be joined in the NAIC project by its partners, Jaguar Land Rover and the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) at the University of Warwick, which will be built at the University campus and is set to become a national emblem of automotive R&D collaboration, innovation and excellence in the UK.

The NAIC, which represents a total investment of around £100m, will receive funding from Tata Motors of around £30m, alongside the support of its partners, Jaguar Land Rover, WMG and the UK Government’s Higher Education Funding Council England (HEFCE). It will be a research hub where people, research and world-leading infrastructure come together for the creation of world-leading technologies that will stimulate the automotive industry with wide economic benefits and sustained growth. The NAIC will create and develop novel technologies to reduce dependency on fossil fuels and reduce CO2 emissions.

Part of WMG’s major focus is on hybridisation and electrification of vehicles which, in conjunction with Jaguar Land Rover is leading to developments such as the Range Rover Evoque_e – Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) and hybrid versions of the acclaimed 4×4. Not only that but WMG is building an advanced battery development centre which will allow for the study and creation of innovation in the field of batteries, with particular aim likely to be focussed on batteries for electric or hybrid vehicles.

National Automotive Innovation Campus (NAIC)

The purpose-built NAIC will provide TMETC and its partners with world class tools and facilities to enable cutting edge collaborative research, as well as a central focus for automotive innovation and academic teaching at the University of Warwick, leading to further collaborations with other academic institutions and industrial partners in the UK and internationally. This will significantly enhance TMETC’s contribution to Tata Motors’ future product innovation and development by creating an environment appropriate for the increased quality of output required as well as its contribution to future collaborative R&D in the UK.

Construction of the NAIC is scheduled to begin in September 2014 and when completed will constitute a major UK automotive R&D asset as well as a consolidation  of the long standing relationship and R&D collaboration between TMETC, WMG and Jaguar Land Rover. The building will have iconic design features, a stylish and innovative working environment, state of the art engineering workshops, powertrain and vehicle engineering laboratories, and the latest advanced design, visualisation and rapid prototyping technologies, tailored to facilitate the research and New Vehicle Concept Development phases of the Tata Motors lifecycle model.

Dr Tim Leverton, Head of Advanced Engineering and Product Development for Tata Motors, said:

“This investment constitutes the next step in Tata Motors’ strategy to develop world class products for its global customers and TMETC plays a significant role in that plan. Our teams in India and in the UK complement each other in academic excellence and product experience, and we see the UK as a global hub for innovative and low carbon automotive technologies, which will benefit our customers.”

Nick Fell, Director and Head of Tata Motors European Technical Centre, said:

“We are delighted by Tata Motors’ decision to invest in this superb facility, and by the trust in TMETC and UK capability that it represents. We greatly look forward to working with our collaborative partners and the Tata Motors teams from this world class base.”

Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, WMG Chairman, said:

“The automotive industry in the UK has seen a recent resurgence, but for the UK to remain internationally competitive we must create urgently a critical mass in research excellence. Our vision is to create the National Automotive Innovation Campus where we link people, research and world-leading infrastructure to create and develop novel technologies. The NAIC will be an ‘engine’ for economic growth, with wide economic benefit, and sustained growth from the creation of world-leading technologies.”

Based at the University of Warwick’s campus, the move builds on TMETC’s eight-year collaboration with the University and will see TMETC expand to a workforce of around 350 staff covering all areas of automotive design and R&D.

Mr Fell added:

“The decision by Tata Motors to invest in the NAIC has galvanised our teams and will be repaid by our contribution to Tata’s future products, as well as to the automotive R&D scene in the UK. TMETC has become a well established long term employer for automotive talent in the UK and the NAIC will reinforce its commitment to developing young engineers and apprentices through its recruitment and training programme, closely linked to the WMG Academy for Young Engineers.”

Source; Tata Motors Limited