The aim of this case study is to develop an international marketing plan for ‘Tata Nano’ the world’s lowest price car with lowest fuel consumption produced by the Tata Motors of India. To carry out the marketing plan, this report will provide historical background and cultural background of host country and give a brief overview of the company and economic analysis of home country India including an export diagnosis of the company.
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Background of the Company
TSL (2011) reported that the Tata group stated it journey in 1868 and now operating in eighty countries with ninety different subsidiaries with a market capitalization of US$ 100.39 billion while its 57% of the revenue comes from export. Donlan (2005) mentioned that in 2003, the hundred and forty years old group of companies announced in the Geneva Motor Show that Tata Motors would produce world’s cheapest car ’Tata- Nano’.
In 2006, Tata Motors started to establish its Nano plant at Singur of West Bengal in India by accruing 1,000 acres of land, which was disturbed by the political violence of farmers who were not willing to give agricultural land for Nano plant. After trilateral negotiation with the government political parties and entrepreneurs Tata Nano successfully came in the market in March 2009 and the market response were more than expectation due to the world’s cheapest car with highest energy efficiency both in home and abroad.
However, this brand is popularly known as a raise- engine, cheap, four- passenger city automobile and it is generally a silver bodied car. Some common features of this product include single windscreen wiper, three pull nets on wheels, single mirror without CD player or radio along with airbags and power steering and 623cc engine, etc.
The Nano has three basic models offering distinct patterns of additional values regarding without additional benefits, with air condition and with power windows along with air condition. According to the annual report 2010 of this company, its outer layout has designed by Italian Institute of Development in Automotive Engineering, and its engine configurations involve 2 cylinder petrol, value of Motronic engine, 35 PS power, 48 N.m Torque and the compression ratio of 9:5:1.
Regarding suspension, brakes and tires, the car has 180 mm of front and 180 mm of rear brake, 1315 mm of rear and 1325 mm of from track and finally, McPherson strut of front and free coil spring of rear suspension while its wheels are sized as 12 inches.
It has the average speed of 60 km/h with the maximum limit of 105 km/h a full efficiency is 23.6 km per liter; however, it is a rear wheel drive car that has 4 speeds manual spreads with automatic rack and pinion steering with 4 meters of revolving radius. Various entities supply its multiple parts among them some are Bosch, Caparo, Delphi, Ficosa, GKN, Mahle, TRW, Visteon and AG etc. (Tata Nano, 2011)
The PEST analysis of Tata Nano for US market is shown below-
Political factors: USA is the country that has relatively stable government with specific and advantageous business policies for foreign companies, like- Tata. Also the country’s local government already has several trading relations with various Indian vendors which would leverage the introduction of Nano into that country (USA Forum, 2011).
Economic factors: The overall economic condition of USA is very well and for this, it is considered the strongest economy in the world. Thus, Tata needs to consider a number of integral factors, like- interest rates, inflation and unemployment level and GDP etc. because those factors can positively or negatively affect the sales and profitability from the product (USA Forum, 2011).
Socio- cultural factors: It incorporates prime religion, local attitude towards imported products, projected influence of language, recreation and leisure pattern of people, environmental concern and the practice of green marketing, family pattern and life cycle etc. (USA Forum, 2011).
Technological factors: One of the prime characteristics of US consumers is that they are highly technologically advanced than many other consumers of other parts of the world. So, this factor includes customer affordability to enjoy new technology, habituation of using online distribution channel and the potential to use technology more than product differentiation as providing customer service or promotion (USA Forum, 2011).
Library of Congress (2004) pointed out that India is one of the Asian emerging economies that became independent in 1947 coming out from British colonial rule more than a two centuries, the country upholds multi party federal democratic system based on secularism and social justice. In context of population, India is the world’s prevalent democratic country that has successfully evidenced balance of power between the central and state government with rich diversity of nations while the country huge political unrest with a number of isolation movements.
Kujur (2008) mentioned that the remarkable political and social unrest of India has aligned with underground political organizations like Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of India, People’s War Group, Maoist Communist Centre and Naxal Movement all these go with arms straggle that seriously hampered the smooth investment environment of country.
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The government and law enforcement agencies have to engage special effort for the unification of the country and to protect terrorist trends of communist groups and liberation activists. The major political parties who are in democratic practice are Congress- that carried out independence, BJP and Left Alliances though there are dozens of regional parties in every state with strong institutional infrastructure to protect isolation or so called liberation movement.
With far above the ground religion diversity such as Hindu, Muslim, Buddha, and Christen, Indian political system has ensured human right, freedom of speech, liberty of media, and nourishing scholars to face the challenger of globalization though there are enough evidence of emergency and presidential rule in some provinces.
In the province West Bengal where the Tata Nano plant situated, has ruled by left alliance under the leadership of communist party for more than four decades, and the Tata Motors has to face serious political disturbance with its Nano project though the government has strong support for Tata.
IndexMundi (2011) forecasted that the total population of India is approximately 1,189,172,906 in 2011 while it was 1,173,108,018 in 2010. Initially, the population growth rate was high, but not this rate is reducing dramatically, for instance, in 2004 and 2007, it was 2.91 % and 3.15% approximately and now the growth rate is 1.39%.
Figure 1: Total population of India from 2003 to 2011
Source: IndexMundi (2011)
India is a promising market to the present corporate houses and the legal system of India is very flexible to the multinationals and new entrants as the government tries to ensure the highest possible business-friendly environment to the firms, as a result, the policy makers support to increase Foreign Direct Investments.
However, it is notable that commercial legislation regarding labor and environmental concerns are theoretically very strong, but practically practice of labor law and ethical codes is not too standard in terms of remuneration, workplace safety and compensation issues.
For distributing Nano in the USA, the marketer can import the ‘easy- to- assemble’ kits from their home country and then the products should assemble at certain locations. After that, the company should redistribute the finished cars to the various showrooms throughout the country and fifty sales centers can be opened for this purpose (TNN, 2011).
Gross National Product (GNP) of India:
ICAI (2008) pointed out that Indian GNP calculated by adding net factor incomes from foreign counties with GDP and subtracting the foreigners income from India while it is equated as GNP = GDP + NFIA ; NFIA indicates the balance of export earning and import spending.
In this process, service rendered for free of cost are not taken into account of GNP, at the same time capital gains and losses are also dropped from this calculation as they are not the consequence of concurrent economic activities of that year. During the 10th five years plan India targeted 8% GNP growth but in practically the country has gained 7.6 % while the country pointed to gain 8.5 %.
Zaman et al (2008) added that there is no particular standard to identify the gross national income in India, it has incorporated a number of factors, while the economic growth of the country are benchmarking with GNP growth, per capita income, renovation with multidimensional course of action connecting the restructuring and progress of entire economy with social systems.
At the same time in Indian, the improvements of incomes and outputs are characteristically engross with fundamental changes in institutional infrastructure, education, social and political alignments, different ethic groups along with administrative structure.
The export data of Indian statistically demonstrates noteworthy positive signs and its export are in intensifying with upper trend that point toward potency of the economy while the FDI inflow in the country is a vital concern of the economy that has presented statistically momentous progress. The Indian GNP from 1990 to 2006 has demonstrated in the following table as follow-
Figure 2: Indian GNP Table 1970 – 2006
Source: Zaman et al (2008)
WUSTL (2011) pointed out that the Indian economy is the world’s eleventh largest economy with GNP of US$ 2400 billion in context of purchasing power parity while the agriculture sector contributes 25.3 %, industrial production donates 26.2 %, manufacturing segment produces 15.1 %, and rest 33.4 % contributed by the service sector.
For the country has been progressing in its GNP growth at a targeted growth of 8 % and the driving force laid behind for such achievement are the democratic society with low cost labor, vibrant capital market, and liberalized capital market and open window for foreign direct investment.
Principal Industrial Sector of India
The raising sectors of India those are aimed to compete in the global market are as biotechnology, pharmaceutical, petrochemical, iron, steel, chemicals, vehicles, entertainment, alternative energy resources, software, and information technology and the country already proved its successful footstep for IT industry while major multinational companies are deeply concerned with the Indian market.
WUSTL (2011) also added that the major growth driver of Indian economy and the biggest asset for future growth is its competent people while the population of the country has been growing at 1.8% per year with increasing education rate and the domestic customer market is growing 5 to 10 percent per annum.
Johansson (2008) stated that exporting means the promotion and direct sells of locally manufactured products in the foreign market and it is a well-developed and conventional form of strategy to capture international markets.
As a result, export is the core basis of revenue for the India’s financial system because it generates huge amount of money from this segment and earning from exports is increasing per year, for instance, India’s net exports earning was approximately $168.2 billion in 2010 whereas economists estimate $201 billion in current year (IndexMundi, 2010). However, the following figure demonstrates the actual figure of exports from 2003 to 2011 –
|Fiscal Year||Total Imports ($billion)||Rank|
Figure 3: Net Exports
Source: IndexMundi (2011)
Library of Congress (2004) India’s negative trade balance has grown gradually from last three decades such as in 2010 exports were $168.20 billion and imports were $253.90 billion, resultant Trade Deficits were of $85.7 billion whereas Indexmundi (2011) estimated that this negative balance of trade would be more than $126 billion.
Figure 4: Surplus or Trade Deficits
Source: Trading Economics (2011)
Education and literacy rates:
The US government is basically responsible for providing education with three sectors of funds as state, federal and local. More than 77% people have completed their educational life from kindergarten to graduation level. Among the adults, more than 85% have finished their high school level and 27% have completed bachelor’s degree or more.
This sophisticated educational background of the country is an optimistic factor for Nano since education assists knowledge and such knowledge would help US customers to understand the technical and general superiority of the car. For example, the white color car purchasers would be highly conscious about the safety issue of a car rather than any other configurations. In this regard, Nano would be able to gain much of their attention because of its careful safety arrangements (USA Forum, 2011).
In USA, social class is a mixture of educational achievement, occupational and income sovereignty that influences its culture highly. In general, there are three layers of social classes as high, medium and low. The upper section involves in luxury consumptions and leisure. The middle class is commonly identified as the educated class having some key values.
Although their budget is limited, they often have more opportunity to enjoy more travels and vacation. They want to have such consumptions which can be obtained at lowest price and yield in highest return. They are not at economy level but they are to maintain economy at their living. The working class is the top sufferer of economic vulnerability.
This class and many middle class individuals frequently face job downsize. Moreover, the US workforce is highly productive as the average per week working hour is above 40 hours (USA Forum, 2011). In these circumstances, the Nano can be offered for the middle and especially the low class segment of US society.
Since the car is positioned as an affordable item for all, this segment can easily find it suitable for both purchase and usage. The middle class would also prefer it by considering the economy along with the competitive advantages offered by the Nano (USA Forum, 2011).
Most of the Americans commonly believe in equal opportunity for all in the society. Here, the concept of individuality and self- expression are highly emphasized. Competition is also a common thought which is practiced by progressive attitude for improvement. For them, tradition is less valuable as they trust in rationality rather than emotion for taking any decision.
This attitude is motivating for Nano as if they find it better than other American cars; they would be interested for buying this car. The integral parts and other value added features of Nano would be able to attract the rational sense of satisfaction of local customers (Virtual USA, 2011).
Above 97% of Americans speak in English although there are above 300 native languages. Some other commonly used native languages are Spanish, Indo- European, Pacific Islander and Asian languages etc. The American dialect is called American English which has 4 major divisions involving south, north- eastern, mid- western and inland north.
Both local and immigrants use English as a common language that acts as the symbol of cultural integration and can also influence the performance of Nano. Language can act as common form of promotional device for Nano. For example, one customer can express his/ her positive feeling about the car to another one by using language and thus form viral marketing (USA Forum, 2011).
Living conditions and leisure
Housing is a prime factor of living conditions. In urban areas of USA, most of the families live in semi- attached houses and apartments. Existence of dwelling houses, business units, shopping malls and educational institutes as a single unit is also common here. Urban dwellers also need to have more travel by mass transportation while children are familiar for walking or driving bicycle than rural areas.
Life is comparatively busy and hasty in urban areas rather than rural ones. Thus, the small, city car image of Nano would be highly meaningful for accelerating such pattern of busy life. Since having a personal transport is very essential regarding the American living standard, the evolvement of Nano can satisfy such requirement with its size, engine and speed etc. (Virtual USA, 2011).
The Americans undertake a number of activities during their weekly holidays and vacations. Around the year, outdoor is the most common form of enjoying leisure. Some other forms of holiday activities are hiking, sailing, skiing, camping and mount riding etc. Participation of professional and non- professional sports is equally well- known there. The role of a private car is significant for enjoying that different types of leisure tasks, especially for outdoor.
For many small families having the maximum members of 4 and single college or university students who want to spend their weekend at hill top, river side or jungle camp, Tata Nano would be the perfect choice regarding the overall size, passenger capacity and longevity of the car. Its 4 wheel driving condition would also be preferred by those who want to pass their vacation on rough hilly areas (USA Forum, 2011).
Music and folklore
Among a number of versions, American young generations and teens basically prefer rocking and cheerful music. This is particularly true when they go for a long drive alone or accompanied by some friends or simply enjoy a party.
Folklore has also various dimensions regarding patriotism or fascination for cultural values which can be a symbol of expressive culture. Since the choice of music and orientation of folklore can significantly affect customer’s preference and attitude towards a product, both those factors would be notable for the US market expression of Nano (Virtual USA, 2011).
There are some other cultural elements that should be considered for Tata Nano in USA. Such as-
Family patterns: Divorce is a common phenomenon of American culture. Almost all the Americans commonly face this incident at least once in their life. For this, the trend of living in a single father or single mother family is increasing. Many also remarry; having kids and then continues a nuclear family. Thus, the specialization and features of Nano are adjustable for meeting the need of such families. Moreover, its low price offer would also be attractive towards those families (USA Forum, 2011).
Fashion: Americans believe in flexibility and informality as a part of their fashion whether it is for clothing, eating, traveling or driving. This simplicity would be effective for expanding the market of Nano as the car integrates most of the mandatory parts and eliminates several common but less necessary items, like- CD player (Virtual USA, 2011).
Culture of automobiles: In USA, the evolvement of sub- urban areas and the need of working class for communicating with cities are accelerating the need of having a private car. In almost all the states of USA, people have their own automobiles whether the brand or price would be. So, in this situation, the Nano poses a wide market potential since the car can be offered for a larger group of people for whom it is one of their primary needs (USA Forum, 2011).
Evaluation of the Possible Success of Product
The growth rate of the world economy declined from 5.2% in 2007 to 3.2% in 2008 because of global financial downturn and this crisis has started from the US market. The impact of this economic downturn was severe in this market as many companies has collapsed or insolvent due to liquidity crisis of Banks, corporate frauds or other financial management problems.
On the other hand, Banks had not interested to provide car loan because of increasing number of unemployment rate and unstable market condition, which increased the risk of failure to pay back. As a result, it was difficult for the middle class people to purchase large and luxuries cars within their budget and this force creates the opportunity for the small car manufactures to enter the developed countries with their low cost products.
However, Ruddick (2009) in The Telegraph reported that the largest automobile market has fallen dramatically due to recessionary pressure regarding unstable oil prices and lower employment ratio. In addition, market leader General Motors has also experienced unfortunate loss as in 2009, GM’s sales have been lowered by 30% than 2008 and this company had fired international white- collar payroll from 73000 to 63000 with downsizing of 3400 US employees (General Motors, 2010).
However, the market position of GM has declined with the overall market demand after 2008, but it is important to mention that Toyota and other companies have already stared to manufacture small cars in order to create market demand for small sized products and the customers have showed positive response.
On the other hand, IFC (2011) reported that the government of US is not interested to establish foreign companies by FDI, but this crisis must influence the government to reduce tax for foreign companies and flexible entry requirements. As a result, it can assume that the market would be profitable for Tata Nano as the market share of these Japanese companies is increasing in this market.
Characteristics of the Possible Market
The new entrants enjoy huge facilities and greater flexibility in this market because it is the greatest and most technologically dominant economy in the globe.
According to the report of IFC (2011) and Indexmundi (2011), this is the right place for developing products or expanding existing business though newcomers have to face high competition with other entry barriers, but the per capita GDP US$47,400 would minimize these risks. Indexmundi (2011) estimated that more that 12% people of US below poverty line and more than 4.43% Asian migrants who have straggle to sustain in this country.
They also need transportation facilities, but they have not enough money to fulfill their demand, so, they can purchase Tata Nano as it is a comfortable, safe, well-weathered, low emission, and high fuel efficient model. On the other hand, Indexmundi (2011) reported that the unemployment rate is increasing day-by-day, for instance, present unemployment rate of the US is 9.3%, which was 5.8% in 2003.
However, increase rate of unemployment influences the current market position and purchasing power of customers in many ways, such as, bank would not ensure large fund for car. At the same time, middle class and higher class people would like to purchase luxury cars, but there are many small families and single person who also buy small car for their regular uses or reduce fuel costs.
However, there are many companies (like McDonalds, KFC, Fedex, and so on) those offer home delivery services and these companies require transportation system, therefore, local multinational companies can be potential target market of Tata Nano.
Description and Characteristics of Competition
Tata Motors has to compete with numerous direct and indirect auto manufacturers though it is one of the most prominent and the largest markets in the world. However, this company may face hard competition from some other alternative transportation besides large and small, for instance, a significant part of the community use public transportation like bus, railways, trams and so on.
According to the annual report 2010 of Tata, international business of the company had adversely affected by the financial crisis in the main markets, but its’ integrate market share of small vehicle sector has increased by 13.3% and developed brand image in global market.
However, this brand has to face instance competition in local market as many companies like Maruti Suzuki Ltd and Bajaj Auto produce small cars, but Tata Nano has to compete with other multinational like General Motors, Hyundai, and Toyota, which are now manufacturing small cars to compete with Nano to attract middle class customers (Tata Nano, 2011).
Tata Nano’s Distribution in the US Market
Noronha (2005) pointed out that Tata Group has long integration with US market from early 1900s with a huge segment of product and services while the company has enlisted in the New York Stock Exchange with eighty offices all over the USA with ten thousand employments, thus Tata Motors would get some competitive advantage to establish distribution channel for Tata Nano.
Tata Nano being the world’s lowest price car, has a great market demand in rural and urban low-income level people under the current recessionary economy, thus it would be suitable for the company to adopt free distribution channel rather than engaging territorial distributor. The company would first establish at least five sales and service centre covering the US market and all car distributors of US market arte entitled to collect Tata Nano from these points for their customers.
Every distributor would facilitate with handsome commission package depending on their sales volume. The Economic Times (2011) reported that the Tata Motors has already gained a good customer base by purchasing British Auto Company for its Jaguar Land Rover that has an existing market in the US territory.
To distributing Tata Nano, the company has the opportunity to involve the distribution channel of Jaguar Land Rover that would provide a strong distribution with less effort. It has predicted from the car dealer study that such a low price car with low fuels consumption – 54 miles for each gallon of gas would be preferable for the US market even if the price stands at US$ 10,000 and a large number of dealers are interested to act as Tata Nano’s distributor.
Advertising, Promotion and Media used to communicate Product
Tata Motors Ltd is going to undertake several strategic methods in order to boost its sales-configuration in existing market as well as to aware people of prospective market about the features of the products. However, its advertising strategies are now focusing on gratifying and impressing the people who put across abhorrence over Tata’ cars, but the advertising policy for the US market should different from existing market to create market demand with strong market position.
Therefore, the marketer of Tata Nano Brand should consider effective media and promotional strategies to communicate with the customers to develop loyal customer base in the US small car market. However, the marketer will arrange integrated marketing communications (IMC) campaign to aware people about the advantage of this brand to save the environment from air pollution and to get economic benefit in this recessionary period.
As the promotional strategy of the Tata Motors varies in accordance with changing consumer attitudes, demands, and other external factors, the marketer should mainly consider the environmental, socio-cultural and economical factors of the US market in order to arrange IMC campaign and other promotional activities.
|Media Plan||Key Features|
|Web site||Initially, the marketers of Tata Nano will require to find out the web designers or programmers to design an excellent Website with integration of latest software because the US customer mostly collect information from the web content and they also ask feedback by using the company’s website. As a result, they will highlight the main features of the model, key advantage to purchase this car, environmental concern, materials, safety measures and so on;|
|You Tube||Nowadays, TV. YouTube was launched in the year of 2005 as a video sharing website which allows users to download, upload, and view as well as share videos, but it is now the most popular and successful website of video sharing service in the cyber world. In addition, YouTube was providing over two billion videos per day, which is almost twice as many as the prime-time audience of all three main US television networks together; therefore, it could replace the traditional television and become the new television|
|Social Networking Site||As social networking sites contributed significantly over Tata’s marketing activities, it will use social networking sites like Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and Linkedin in order to attract more customers in the US zone;|
|Billboard and Hoardings||these can be every powerful media if the company can utilize this media by conducting proper market research|
|Television||Advertising is a type of communication that continuously imposes into people’s daily lives though people do not pay much attention to it, its form of persuasion, and of the extent how it manipulates the culture. At the same time, the Therefore, the marketer will use this media as one of the most effective sources to create customer attention;|
|Radio||The cost of advertisement in radio is lower than television, therefore, Tata Motors can also use this media to advertise its Tata Nano Brand|
|Search Engine||link in Google, yahoo, MSN and other sites are useful promotional tools for Tata Motors;|
|Newspaper||Advertisement in the newspaper is also effective tools|
Table 1: Media Plan for Tata Nano in the US market
Source: Self generated
Price Range for Competing Products
Conklin (2005) reported that the entry of Japanese auto makers like Toyota, Honda and Nisan have already reduced the market share of the General Motors, and Volkswagen by creating strong customer base in the US car market by using low cost strategies.
At the same time, Tata Nano is the cheapest car brand in the world, which has long experience to enter new market and capture large share within short period using different strategies beside pricing strategy. However, different company setup the price range considering different factors such as market competition, production costs, direct margin, purchasing power of the customers and many other factors.
As Tata Nano is marketed with lowest price structure, it can assume that it will ask cheapest price in the US market though the price would be comparatively higher than the price of other Asian countries. However, the rationale behind this pricing strategy would be included the extra costs to incorporate new features to decrease CO2 emissions and increase the safety measure in the model of Tata Nano.
According to the annual report 2010 of Tata Motors, the price of this brand is only $2500 for international market, but this price changes considering the specific requirements of the markets and external environment, such as, the price of Tata Nano is higher in EU zone. However, Ramesh (2009) reported in The Guardian that the company would develop the European Nano to fulfill the requirements of the USA market in terms of higher safety standards includes airbags and antilock brakes.
As a result, Tata Nano will set up the price of this brand considering EU market where the additional features make this brand more expensive. However, the company can ask $6,000 to $6500 to introduce this brand in the US market because Ramesh (2009) reported it has already asked more than ₤4000 in the EU market.
Market Size and Sales Estimates
According to the data of the World Street Journal, the US market is really potential to the small and Eco friendly car makers. However, WSJ (2011) reported that about 546,687 cars were sold in the US market in May 2011, among these cars 196,498 were small sized.
However, it is important to note that the prospect of small cars is better than luxury cars or large cars in this market because the auto makers aggregate sale volume was only 73,566 luxury cars and 5,962 large cars in May 2011 (WSJ, 2011). Considering this fact, it can be estimated that the annual sale of small cars would be approximately 2357616 units. However, total car market size is also depend on the
On the other hand, the customer behavior of the US market has changed due to the global financial crisis and development of the consciousness about the difficulties of large cars. The recessionary impacts derived the customers to purchase cars at low price and this force influenced small car producers to enter this market. Therefore, it would be easy to Tata Motors to capture large market share of the US car markets with their Tata Nano product.
As this company needs to invest large amount of fund to enter this market, it is important to estimate approximate sales volume in order to avoid market risks. However, this report suggests that Tata Motors should enter the US market with small sales target at the initial stage, for instance, it sales target should 10000 units per month or 120000 units per year. The actual car sales of first year will direct the company to take further step to increase sales volume in this market.
From the above discussion, Tata Motors should enter the US market with Tata Nano brand as it has designed and manufactured in such way which assures the low budget customers to purchase a better quality, small size and fashionable car.
On the other hand, the biggest competitive advantage of Nano is its cost cutting features would help the company to create market in the post-recessionary period. Since the company is thinking to renovate the electric version of the car, it is also possible that such electric version would become the least expensive electric automobile with a range of 130 km and lithium- ion batteries.
In addition, the marketers of Tata think that the Nano is safe as the car incorporates some especial features, such as, side arm mirror for passenger, no airbags and wrinkle zone. As the US people highly concern on safety issue, all of these criteria help to have a safe driving at Nano than any other forms of two- wheel cars.
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- Gross National Product
- Gross Domestic Product
- Net Factor Income from Abroad
- Foreign Direct Investment