Monday, January 30, 2012

Tata Nano grapples to sustain in domestic market

A car model that was unveiled in the year 2008 at the new Delhi Auto Expo had garnered quite a lot of appreciation. But these appreciations never translated into high sales numbers. So the Tata motors decide to find out what went wrong. Later at that the time when Tata Motors had launched the Tata Nano in 2009, everyone were very positive that this car with the concept of the "world's cheapest car" is going to be a runaway success.  As mentioned earlier when even after several years of disappointing sale it became more then evident the USP of this model the Tata Nano price was actually the thing that was hampering its commercial success.

In a country like India where four wheelers are still considered a status symbol people did not go for this model  that has become synonymous with as the “poor man’s car” so no one like to be called the owner of a car that came with the tag “cheap”. Everyone just added in a little more amount to get an expensive model rather than the nano. Finally Tata motors realized their mistake and as Indian automobile expert Murad Ali Baig pointed out that the car didn't project the right image also another problem for this model was that consumers could get quite respectable second-hand cars -- with air conditioning for the same cost as the Nano.

It was not the only problems that nano faced it later ran into trouble when a land acquisition row forced Tata to abandon a nearly completed plant and build another, badly delaying production then again there were safety concerns after a number of cars burst into flames. So now tata motors has decided to do away with  stigma has been attached to it, now they are marketing  the Nano as always been intended as an "affordable, all-weather, family car."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tata reframes strategy to increase Nano sales

Tata motors have finally realized the reason for their low sales figures of Tata Nano. So, now they have just the right strategy to boost the sales. As per this new strategy the car maker is now going to change the perception that Tata Nano is a poor man’s car. Already this strategy has started bearing fruits and the sales have improved considerably. Even Mr Ratan Tata, the chairman of Tata Motors, has admitted this mistake regarding the distribution and marketing of Tata Nano and so now they are trying to put it right.

An official statement regarding improved sales figure was given by the VP of Tata Motors, Mr. R Ramakrishna. He said that their strategy has just managed to give right boost to the sales. As a part this new strategy the carmaker has taken care of every step of reaching out to their customers. So carmaker has rethought about their dealerships, their network strategy even their finance collaborators.According to Mr Ramakrishna all the people who intend to buy the Tata Nano do not like going to the full-grown car showroom to buy their car. They would prefer an exclusive Nano showroom. Understanding this consumer behavior Tata Motors is now going to set up as many as 105 exclusive Tata Nano showrooms along with 250 special kiosks. He added that carmaker has plans to open exclusive outlets in different Tier-IV and Tier –III cities in India.

Another winning strategy of the car maker was to market this innovative model in different ways for customers of diverse age groups. Though we do not have the exact sales figures but the officials have confirmed that the numbers have gone up. So, the company is now elated by the new found success. As for the future it seems that positive response to this model will make possible the usage the production of the full capacity at the Sanand manufacturing plant.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Tata skeptical to foray in premium sedan segment

In the recently concluded Auto Expo every car maker gave a glimpse of their future strategy. Some of them chose to launch and unveil their upcoming models while other showcased their concept cars. A visit to Tata motor’s stall at the event showed that the auto major intends to concentrate on extremely low costing cars and it may venture into the hybrid and electric segment.

What was missing here was there was no model for the elite segment, all in all it seems Tata is going to skip the segment. Even the concepts for this segment that were showcased at other shows failed to make it to the production stage. So, we neither had the Tata Magna or Tata Prima the concepts seeing the light of day.  As we all may recollect Prima concept was an important feature of Tata’s in its convoy for the 2009 event at Geneva. Even now Tata Prima pictures from the 10 edition of the India expo only show that this model was applauded at the show but reports are it will remain a dream as the automajor has no intention of producing it.

It is not that this major player in the automobile sector has not ventured into the premium segment but it was always with little success. It is worth mentioning that when Tata Motors had many dreams when it introduced Tata Aria for the Indian car enthusiast but this venture failed miserably as the consumers never pardoned the carmaker for the wrong pricing of this model. The hard lesson learned by this experiment was that a model priced at Rs 11.61 lakh will directly put the model in competition with some high end models from global brands like Toyota Innova. Even the lower priced models of D segment have fierce competition now with some really significant names like Fluence, Laura and Civic from carmaker like Renault, Skoda and Honda. So, Tata for now has postponed the entry into this segment.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Inception of Tata eMO-story behind it

After making a strong statement at the 2012 Auto Expo, now Tata motors want to create a impact at the internationally as well. So, Tata Technologies has put its best foot forward at the ongoing Detroit Motor show. There it is showcasing a $20,000 electric car, eMO which they unveiled on Wednesday. For all those considering this small car an electrified version of Tata Nano but Tata Technologies vehicle development team head, Kevin Fisher has specifically said that it is definitely not an electrified Nano.

Giving a brief insight about the story of development of this Tata eMO electric car he said that in the summer of 2010, in anticipation of launching the Vehicle Programs and Development group, Tata Technologies decided to create a complete vehicle as an internal engineering study and group considered numerous concepts. Their objective was on sustainability, besides using the global experience, knowledge, capacity and innovation of the Tata technology, a part of the Tata India group, to the fullest.The team started reviewing relevant media on electronic Vehicle. He adds that here they found very mixed results, ranging from huge optimism to abject pessimism and everything in between. There was much to study, including a plethora of concepts and reams of data, as well as local and governmental incentives and infrastructure. So, they studied and considered what type of electric vehicle is required for different uses, each having a specific purpose and goal. The research also led to a focus on a city or “New Urban” electric vehicle with an emphasis on the design following the functionality and use of the vehicle. Keeping a low cost of ownership was a priority.

Finally he said that their research showed a very pragmatic, innovative and cost effective solution for daily- use electric vehicles in a new urban environment and they believe the markets exist for a vehicle demonstrating this intelligent combination of performance, safety, function, price and environmental responsibility. And there is more to come. But it is not the end of the research, he added that this study is the first in a series of thought – provoking concepts to showcase out capabilities across the current and future automotive landscape.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tata Safari Storme could adorn G85 Gear Box in future

Now that the Auto Expo is part of history we have to recall a few fond memories it has created. One remarkable concept that has been showcased at the event by Tata Motors was the G85 six-speed automatic gearbox. At the event the automatic variant of Tata Aria was displayed along with this gearbox. Reports were that the upgrade on this SUV will be done under the guidance of Tata’s alliance partner JLR and they have provided this gearbox. However, our sources have confirmed that this gearbox is developed by the transmission maker DANA for Tata Motors, Dana also developed drive shafts for commercial vehicles and especially for Tata world truck.

Information that we have is that this gear box will also be present in the recently unveiled Tata Safari Storme SUV. Though earlier codenamed as Tata Merlin, this model was a eye catcher at the 11th Indian Auto Expo for its most stunning looks overriding the image of its flagship model Tata Safari. This new model has the same amazing road presence of Tata Safari deep under the roots, but the overall looks of the SUV have undergone a major transition.

Tata Safari Storme pictures shows the exteriors in great details and we can see that the meshed look of the grille has been tweaked to match up with a slimmer version of the grille below and the headlamps.  Besides this the bulging wheel arches only adds to its rugged image. If it comes loaded with the new G85 six speed automatic gearbox that was showcased by Tata on Tata Aria AT concept then we can expect an exemplary performance as this gearbox could easily handle maximum torque of up to 450 Nm, which is a figure that none of the Tata’s sport utility vehicles could handle at present. Coming back to the interiors of this SUV, this seven-seater looks like an ideal family car delivering the off-roading experience.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tata Nano CNG lined for launch in 2012, exports could also begin

While diesel version of Tata Nano is not ready for a launch, and the 2012 Auto Expo saw unveiling of Tata Nano CNG along the Tata Pixel concept. At expo the important news was that the Tata Motors are planning to export their Nano CNG to Asian and European countries as well.This was stated by the Managing Director of Tata Motors India, PM Telang and he went on to explain business strategy for the world’s cheapest car. Reports are that Tata Motors plans to launch the CNG version of its Nano sometimes this year. Though the exact time for the launch is not declared yet, Telang, told the media that Nano CNG is definitely going to be launched very soon and the company is hopeful that it will be rolling the CNG version out this year.

As it was just an unveiling, there was no information regarding Tata Nano CNG price.He went on to add that entering into markets like Bangladesh, Myanmar and other South-East Asian countries including Thailand and Indonesia is part of the company’s future plan and this in short is the blueprint for a year.  Interestingly, along with the launch of this model in the south Asian region the company is also working on developing a different version of Nano that will suit the European market.

Telang explained that they are looking for an appropriate car for the European market. As the current Nano, the model that is introduced in the India has different emission and safety specifications from that of the European market. If we change these fundamental technical aspects then it seems like the Nano for European market is going to be a substantially different car. Coming back to the Indian version, Tata Nano CNG pictures shows that it is going to be a good car for its segment. When the MD of Tata Motors was asked about Tata Motor’s investment plans for the coming fiscal, he elaborated that it is very difficult to give the specific numbers but a rough estimate would be about Rs 3,000 crore. This is what the company normally spends both for the capacity expansion and product development. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tata Safari Storme unveils at Auto Expo 2012

Auto Expo 2012 has been a platform where the carmakers are unveiling, showcasing and launching their various models. Tata Motors the leading car manufacturer also has a high numbers of models on display here and they also unveiled Tata Safari Strome a new design concept on January 5. Though it carries the name Tata Safari but there are several marked differences in this new model if we compare the two. Though the model has been unveiled but Tata Safari Storme price has not yet unveiled by the company.Earlier there were some rumours that Tata may drop Safari name for this SUV, but the carmaker has not done so and the bold Safari name is still prominently present on the model.

Coming to the new elements in this new model,Tata Safari Storme review says that it now has a unique looking grille along with a matching air-duct. The strong masculine feel of the SUV is highlighted by the in-vogue wrap around headlamps. Not only, that it has a chrome outline, the model even has twin exhausts on the back side adding to the beauty of the model.Some other elements like the exhaust pipes and the stepney have done their bit to enhance the beauty of the model. Unlike the current rugged model of Tata Safari the storme, the extra tyre is placed under the body.

Next thing that usually influences the consumers’ decision is interiors of the model. Here again the auto major has tried to give it the best look that matches up to the best in the segment with the all leather beige colored upholstery and matching accessories. On the whole it seems that the Safari Storme could be an ideal choice for a family car with 2.2 L DiCor engine which is just the same as current model and which gives an fairly reasonable performance with maximum power of 140 Bhp and 320 Nm peak torque. The makers claim that this model will have best turning radius for its segment and a interesting feature Easy shift on fly to toggle between 4X2 and 4X4 drive options.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tata Manza hybrid to be unmasked at Auto Expo

Tata India is all set to showcase it brand new Tata Manza Electric concept at the upcoming 2012 Auto Expo at Pragati Maidan New Delhi. The company has been very much confident with its brand new hybrid concept which is a lot similar to the electric Tata Vista and Tata Indica. Both these electric cars were showcased globally recently. As there has not been a lot of encouragement to the electric cars in India, Tata has taken a step ahead. And they are ready to bring this new car at the upcoming event.

Till now Mahindra & Mahindra have been very much popular with its hybrid engines. They have numerous electric models running successfully on the roads and they are very much popular in this segment of cars. M&M products have been the major cause to make Tata take a step towards adapting this technology in its cars. Tata is willing to get its strong hold on this segment of cars and take the piece of cake from M&M. Tata is also expecting to bring some changes to the exteriors of the car which jells according to the cars performance. They cars aerodynamics is expected to be re-modified giving the car a more hybrid feel.

Mahindra is all set to bring its Mahindra Verito electric version. This compact sedan version by Mahindra is expected to be showcased at the Auto Expo in New Delhi. Tata still has not finalized will this electric hybrid compact sedan will make it to the Auto Expo but there is a surety that the company plans to bring its Tata Manza CS to the event. Tata is working hard to get its hands on this segment as the future to this segment is great and by working a bit more it wants to have its stand in this segment giving a stiff competition to Mahindra & Mahindra.