Ratan Tata, Chairman of Jaguar Land Rover parent company Tata Trusts, and Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, Chairman and Founder of Warwick University’s Warwick Manufacturing Group, or WMG as it is now known, have been made Honorary Freemen of the City of Coventry, UK. Coventry is seated in the West Midlands, home to both Land Rover and Jaguar.
The two men join only 13 people to be awarded the honor since 1914. They are being recognized for their enormous contributions to the British motor industry, and for, according to JLR CEO Ralf Speth, planting “the seeds for automotive research, innovation and advanced manufacturing in the future.”
Continued Speth, “Mr Tata is a visionary who made Jaguar Land Rover's recovery possible. He stood firm during tough times when Tata acquired our business in 2008 - when some thought Jaguar Land Rover might not survive. He could see instinctively the potential of our brands, and his leadership was unwavering. Since then our workforce has doubled, our sales have doubled, and our turnover has more than tripled. Mr Tata's support has been fundamental to this growth."
"Everyone at Jaguar Land Rover is immensely proud that Mr Tata's work as an automotive leader has been recognized, and we congratulate him and Professor Lord Bhattacharyya on this honor - so rarely given over the past 100 years."
Previous recipients include Andrew Carnegie; William Morris, founder of Morris Motors, and in 1999, Mo Mowlam, the last recipient of the award, for her contributions to the peace process in Northern Ireland.
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