TaMo Guns for No. 3 Spot with New Cars
Co aims to sustain momentum gained from Tiago’s success by launching its twin — a compact sedan — in March and a compact SUV later to ride past M&M and help restore some of the brand value the group has lost Getting Ahead in the Race ...but still remains
Ketan Thakkar & Deepanshu Taumar
Mumbai | New Delhi: Tata Motors is readying a twin of its Tiago hatchback, but with an extended boot, for a March launch to take on Maruti Suzuki’s upcoming newgeneration Dzire and a face-lifted version of Hyundai Motor’s Xcent.
Having wrested the No. 4 position in the Indian passenger vehicle market in 2016, thanks to Tiago’s success, Tata Motors is now looking to unseat Mahindra & Mahindra from the third spot. It launched the Hexa crossover earlier this month and has plans to drive in two more fresh products in 2017, which industry experts say may prove to be a turnaround year for the company. While launching the Hexa, managing director Guenter Butschek said 2016 was a milestone year for Tata Motors and that it expected the products in the pipeline to help extend the “good momentum we are in”.
Tata Motors has already started production of the Kite 5, the sedan version of the Tiago, last month. It has mandated vendors with production schedule of 3,000-4,000 units a month, said people in the know. Though the launch was planned earlier, the company recalibrated the timing to ensure enough capacity for the Tiago. Still, the Kite 5 will be launched be-
ON THE FAST TRACK
Tata Motors readying a twin of its Tiago hatchback shifting to small SUVs
on Maruti’s newgeneration Dzire and Hyundai’s facelifted Xcent fore the segment leaders hit the market with new products, so that it can have a higher mindshare, said one of them. The all-new Dzire and the upgraded Xcent are expected to be introduced in April-May.
With limited competition in the compact car segment, the Tiago was able to deliver an impressive 5,000 units per month on an average for Tata Motors over the last one year, helping the company achieve a 10% share in that space. However, the Kite 5 compact sedan will fight it out in an intensely competitive segment where an average of 33,000 to 37,000 cars are sold in a month.
The entry of Kite 5 also happens at a time when the segment is witnessing a decline, with consumer preference shifting to small SUVs.
Maruti has a lion’s share of the compact sedan segment (cars with a length of less than four metres) with 60% of the volume, followed by Hyundai which accounts for about 15%.
Interestingly, Tata Motors was the company that invented the compact sedan segment in India, with the Indigo-CS, to take benefits of lower excise duty. But it eventually ceded the leadership to Maruti Dzire.
Tata Motors did launch the Zest sedan in 2014, which got off to a good start. But after the initial burst, sales lost momentum. With strong brand awareness and tailwind from the Tiago, it is hoping for a po-
Launch at a time when subfour-metre sedan segment witnessing a decline
Consumer preference TaMo will To take
sitive rub off on the Kite 5. On Tata Motors vision of going back to number three position, Mayank Pareek, president for passenger vehicles business, explained that the gap between Nos 3, 4, 5 and 6 was hardly 3,000-4,000 units a month. With two new products and positive momentum from the Tiago and Hexa, he is confident of attaining the No. 3 position. The company has also lined up the Nexon compact SUV for launch later this year or early 2018.
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also launch the this year or early 2018