Tata’s JLR invests in Uber rival Lyft for driverless cars

InMotion’s investment in Lyft makes India’s Tata Group an indirect shareholder

Company News :Tata Motors-owned British luxury carmakr Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has invested $25 million in US ride-hailing company Lyft as part of a partnership that includes development and testing of autonomous cars.

The investment in Uber‘s chief rival Lyft was done through InMotion Ventures, the venture capital arm of JLR. This was part of the $600-million funding round the ride-hailing firm closed in April at a valuation of $7.5 billion.

In a statement, InMotion said that the innovation would help Lyft expand by supplying its drivers with fleets of Jaguar and Land Rover cars. However, more importantly, it said that the partnership would be used to further its research and development in mobility services, including autonomous cars.

“Personal mobility and smart transportation is evolving. This new collaborative venture will provide a real-world platform, helping us develop our connected and autonomous services,” VentureBeat quoted Sebastian Peck, Managing Director at InMotion.

In May, Lyft announced its partnership with Google’s self-driving vehicle spinoff, Waymo to work on developing new autonomous car technologies. The company’s focus on autonomous cars comes at a time when its rival Uber is in the midst of a crisis that could see founder Travis Kalanick taking leave, temporarily.

One of Uber’s biggest headaches right now is a lawsuit filed by Waymo, accusing Anthony Levandowski- a former Waymo employee who founded self-driving truck start-up Otto – of stealing its IP(Internet Protocol). Otto was bought out by Uber in August last year and while the company fired Levandowski recently, it is still being investigated for fraud.

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Nano serious drain on financial resources: Full text of Wadia’s letter to shareholders of Tata Motors

Nusli Wadia charged Ratan Tata of making investments in loss-making UK operations at the cost of Indian operations

 

The spat between Tata Group and Mistry camp appeared to be escalating with industrialist Nusli Wadia shooting off a letter to Tata Motors shareholders, rubbishing all allegations levelled against him by the board.

Ahead of Nusli Wadia’s removal in the December 22 “extraordinary” general meeting, the independent director of Tata Motors Ltd (TML) said that the Nano small car has proved to be “a serious drain on the financial resources” of the company.

In a presentation to shareholders, he said that the company was burdened with “heavy debt” and has a “substantial funding requirement for its future strategy”.

This is the second time that Wadia is writing such a letter, after having shared similar views with shareholders of Tata Steel.

Here is the full text of Wadia’s letter:

Tata Motors Ltd. Esteemed Shareholders, I come before you today in the most unique of circumstances. The notice that has been sent by Tata Sons for my removal as Independent Director has been with you for some time.

I. MY ASSOCIATION WITH YOUR COMPANY

I was invited to join your Company as a Director almost two decades ago based on my association with the late JRD Tata, my mentor and godfather. Whatever little I have learnt, and the values that I have tried to imbibe, are those that he gave me. The most important value that he taught me was that when one enters a Board Room, you leave your shares at the door, irrespective of whom you represent. He encouraged the freedom of thought and expression. If any member of the Board disagreed with JRD he not only respected it but appreciated it. He never expected anyone to toe his or “the Tata line”. He never admonished anyone for being independent. This is what Mr. JRD Tata practised. It is both sad and unfortunate that Tata Sons and its interim Chairman Ratan Tata are not only not practising this great tradition but effectively destroying it. I have always acted as an Independent Director, long before it became a requirement to do so under any law. In July 2014, I was once again appointed as an Independent Director upto 14th February, 2019. My appointment in 2014 was with an overwhelming majority of more than 92% of the votes cast (including those of Tata Sons). I have served your Company independently for 18 years and I now stand accused of having lost my independence over events that transpired in less than 1 7 days. Read more.