Tata Motors Pulls Out an Ace Plan
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