Tata Mo­tors Pulls Out an Ace Plan

The Economic Times - - Brands & Companies - Ke­tan.Thakkar @times­group.com

Mum­bai: Tata Mo­tors is mak­ing its Ace mini truck slightly longer and tougher to take on ri­vals that have been steadily chip­ping away at the mar­ket leader’s share in the small com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle space.

The new al­ter­na­tives on the Ace plat­form will take higher pay­load as well as with­stand more abuse than the cur­rent range, say com­pany in­sid­ers. The prod­ucts — XL ver­sions of the Ace Zip, Ace and Mega Ace — are set to hit the mar­ket this April.

With the new range of prod­ucts, Tata Mo­tors is aim­ing to ad­dress the emerg­ing needs of the last­mile trans­porta­tion in­dus­try, in terms of faster turn­around, bet­ter ca­pac­ity, greater safety, com­fort, re­li­a­bil­ity and over­all value, said Ravi Pishar­ody, its ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor re­spon­si­ble for the com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle busi­ness.

Tata Mo­tors is still the leader with a 62% share in the 1.0-1.25 tonne mini-truck seg­ment, where the Ace is the cham­pion for sev­eral years now. But it has lost more than10% mar­ket share over the last three years, to Mahin­dra & Mahin­dra’s Maxximo, Jeeto, Supro and Ashok Ley­land’s Dost. Though de­mand for the Dost has lost the mo­men­tum of late, Ashok Ley­land is plan­ning to launch its own small com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles after its break up with Nis­san Mo­tor. VE Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cle, too, is likely to en­ter the space in 2018-19.

The threat, both ex­ist­ing and emerg­ing, has com­pelled Tata Mo­tors to re-in­vent it­self and com­pany ex­ec­u­tives hope the new prod­ucts will give the brand an edge over com­pe­ti­tion.

The XL ver­sions of the Ace will al­low for 15% higher pay­load. They also come with BS IV diesel en­gine op­tions, new in­te­ri­ors and power steer­ing as stan­dard. The ex­ist­ing range will con­tinue to be avail­able.

This will be the sec­ond ma­jor step taken re­cently by Tata Mo­tors to spruce up its port­fo­lio. *April to De­cem­ber

Ashok Ley­land

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