GENEVA – Tata Motors Co. Ltd., India’s leading truck maker and a growing force in automobiles, introduces another variant of its Indigo Advent small-car platform at the auto show here.

Tata Softroader shares its platform with Indica hatchback.

Tata calls the car the Indigo Advent Softroader. The crossover is a tall version of the Indigo station wagon, sharing the platform with the Indigo sedan and Indica hatchback.

It will be offered with the choice of an 85-hp gasoline engine or 70-hp turbodiesel.

The new model is of little consequence in Europe, except as another in a continuing series of signs pointing to Tata’s desire to be an international player.

Tata sells fewer than 1,000 units per year in Europe through its distributors, counting both the Indica and its SUVs. Nonetheless, the company has exhibited for several years at Geneva, always presenting something new.

Tata has developed its automobile line with the help of European partners, such as Italy’s IDEA SpA, which drew the Indica as well as the similar profile of the Fiat Palio.

Now Tata is the source of cars for independent MG Rover, providing a re-badged Indica to the U.K. auto maker as the CityRover, to expand its lineup.

Deliveries started in January with 5,000 cars shipped to MG Rover. But “it is too early” to determine the sales success, Tata says.

A result of Tata’s international aspirations was the purchase last month of Daewoo’s heavy-truck business in South Korea. It was only the second venture outside India for the conglomerate, after the purchase of the Tetley tea company in Britain.

“We bought Daewoo for their heavy trucks, not for the brand,” Ratan Tata, chairman of the company, says in an interview following his presentation of a new version of the Tata Indica. “Tata does not make trucks in that range, so there will be many synergies.”

Tata is India’s leading truck maker, but most of its vehicles would be in the light and medium segments in other countries. Indian roads currently are not compatible with heavier trucks, but they will be eventually, Tata says.

Engineers from Daewoo Commercial Vehicles and Tata will work together on a new truck they expect to compete with names such as Scania and Volvo in emerging markets. Tata says the Daewoo brand will be retained in South Korea, where it has 26% of the truck market, but “where we have a presence we will use our brand.”

The Daewoo truck factory has a capacity of 20,000 units per year, but it has been operating at 25%-30% capacity according to press reports. Tata plans to fill capacity with its medium- and light-commercial vehicles. The biggest challenge, says Tata, will be learning to work with the Korean labor unions.

Tata Motors reportedly plans to invest about $100 million over the next four to five years in its passenger-car and commercial-vehicle businesses. It already has invested about $400 million on the Indica-Indigo project that began in 1997.

Tata Motors is the largest company in the Tata group, and 2.5 million Tata vehicles are registered in India. The company was established in 1945, and it collaborated with Mercedes-Benz on trucks from 1954-1969. Currently, passenger cars account for about 40% of sales revenue and trucks generate about 60%.