BEIJING -- India's Tata Sons Ltd. may build a small car in China.
Tata executives are talking to domestic automakers in the country, said Ratan N. Tata, the company's chairman, told Automotive News on Feb. 10.
"There is some interest in China for a small car, Tata said. We are in preliminary discussions with a few domestic OEMs.
He declined to name the companies.
The chairman was in Beijing looking at China's software development facilities. Tata Consulting Services has a software development center in nearby Hangzhou.
The sprawling Indian conglomerate has business lines ranging from software to hotels to steel to auto manufacturing. About 25 percent of total revenue comes from its automotive operations.
Tata builds trucks, buses and three passenger car models a small $5,000 hatchback called the Indica, a sedan and a station wagon. All are built on the same locally-developed platform.
In 2003, group revenue totaled about $13 billion.
Tata would make the Indica hatchback in China, he said.
"We would be open to providing the technology for a non-Tata badged car, co-badging, or producing a Tata-badged car," Tata said.
The Indian company is also interested in making trucks and buses in China, he added.
Tata is also interested in sourcing cheaper auto parts from China.
Said Ratan Tata: "We are looking at Thailand and China as places to source parts."