Jaguar Land Rover owner Ratan Tata and Birmingham Post columnist Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya have been made Honorary Freeman of Coventry.
The chairman of the Tata Group and founder and chairman of Warwick Manufacturing Group at the University of Warwick both took the Oath of Freemen and signed the Roll of Honour during a ceremony at Coventry Cathedral on September 25.
Honorary Freedom of the City is the highest award Coventry can bestow upon a person and just 13 people have been awarded the honour since 1914.
The late former Labour MP and Northern Ireland secretary Mo Mowlam, who grew up in Coventry, was the last person to receive it in 1999.
Coventry Lord Mayor Michael Hammon, a Freeman himself, said: “Honorary Freeman of the City is a prestigious honour which has been conferred to only a small minority of people.
“Recognising two people who have helped in the regeneration of the city is a way of celebrating all that is good about the city and its future.”
Coun Ann Lucas, leader of Coventry City Council, said: “The vision, leadership and commitment of Mr Tata and Professor Lord Bhattacharyya has been instrumental in placing Coventry on a world stage.
“Growing the city’s economy is fundamental to achieving our aim of becoming a top ten city we are delighted to award Mr Tata and Prof Lord Bhattacharyya the highest honour in recognition of their impact on the city. We truly value their friendship.”
The two men travelled to Coventry Cathedral from the Council House in the late Queen Mother’s car – a 1955 Jaguar Mark VIIM.
Prof Lord Bhattacharyya said: “To be an Honorary Freeman of the City of Coventry is a great honour indeed at the time when Coventry has reinvented itself to be a great city of high technology and high value manufacturing.”