Tata Motors launches Safari Storme, plans 6 new products in the next year
New Delhi, October 17, 2012: After launching the new Safari Storme after an 18-month hiatus, Tata Motors plans to introduce six new products over the next 12 months. Managing director Karl Slym, while acknowledging that new products are needed in the mass segment which constitutes 70 percent of the passenger car segment, was unwilling to disclose which models would roll out first.
The home-grown auto major is targeting new export markets for the Safari Storme in Indonesia and Thailand. The carmaker recently entered Indonesia where it set up a wholly owned Jakarta subsidiary PT Tata Motors Indonesia for launching vehicles in 2013. The existing Safari Storme is exported to South Africa and SAARC countries including Turkey.
Indonesia is a key market for Tata Motors, which has a wide range of products from small cars to buses and from 0.5 T mini-trucks to 49 T heavy trucks in commercial vehicles. The carmaker already has business operations in Thailand, which is an important market for pick-ups, and also plans to set up a greenfield facility for eco cars in the country.
Meanwhile the new edition of the Safari Storme, first seen at the Auto Expo 2012, incorporates some serious changes to beat competition in this segment. The Safari Storme will compete with the likes of the Mahindra Scorpio and the recently-launched Renault Duster. It has a starting price of Rs 9.95 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) going up to Rs 13.66 lakh for the top-end model. It will be available in four variants -- LX, EX, VX (4x2 and 4x4) -- and will be marketed in 282 dealerships and 33 exclusive UV outlets.
Tata has made a lot of improvements to the car mechanically. The Safari Storme uses an improved suspension and a modern ladder-frame chassis similar to the one that underpins the Aria. It continues to be powered by the same 140bhp 2.2-litre DiCOR motor but the engine now feels a lot more responsive. The five-speed G76 manual gearbox has also been tweaked for better refinement.
On the inside, the interiors have been reworked with clean, mature and minimalistic touches all-round. It also manages to retain the previous-gen Safari’s key quality - passenger comfort.
Commenting on the market performance of the Nano and the Aria, Slym attributed the declining sales to the absence of complete packaging of the models and full reach to the market and said the company is addressing these issues.