Today is a red-letter day for Tata Motors. The 100,000th Tata Tiago hatchback has rolled out of the company's Sanand plant in Gujarat. The production landmark comes 19 months after the Tiago was launched on April 6, 2016.
For Tata Motors, which put its heart and soul into developing the Tiago, the car has helped resurrect the Tata car brand. The Tiago looks attractive, comes with plenty of equipment and has a cabin that could very well belong to a more expensive car. The Tiago is also designed to tackle India’s imperfect roads with ease and is an easy car to handle. All of this has meant that consumers have taken to the car and it shows in the marketplace.
From launch till end-September 2017, the Tiago has sold a total of 93,299 units in the domestic market – 77,086 petrol variants and 16,213 diesel variants. This smart sales performance has contributed to Tata Motors’ passenger car market share growing from 5.60 percent in April 2016 to 6.11 percent in April-September 2017.
Tata Motors was betting big on the Tiago, which was evident considering it had started the car's shipment to dealers in February last year to build up inventory before the model's official launch on April 6, 2016.
Available in five trim levels priced aggressively between Rs 339,000 to Rs 501,000 (introductory pricing), the Tiago comfortably undercut its rivals like the Maruti Celerio, Chevrolet Beat and the Hyundai i10. In fact, the diesel variant of the Tiago is also the cheapest diesel hatchback in the country, alongside its sibling Tata Indica.
Well-sorted pricing, improved quality levels and an impressive features list saw demand surge for the Tiago and took Tata Motors by surprise. By August 2016, barely four months after launch, the car had over 30,000 bookings and a three- to four-month waiting period, compelling the company to add a second shift at its Sanand plant in a bid to ramp up production and reduce the waiting period.
The Tiago impact
The Tiago marked the reinvention of Tata Motors across the design, packaging, performance and fuel efficiency parameters. Pretty much everything, other than the base floorpan borrowed from the India, has been developed from the ground up.
Tata’s new 'Impact' design language made its debut with the Tiago. As Pratap Bose, Tata Motors’ head of design said at the launch, the car’s design language is based on the impression formed on prospective customers within the first 20 seconds of viewing a car. 'Impact' design cars, Tata says, will feature appealing cabin-to-body ratios, best-in-class size, driver-centric layouts and cleverly designed in-cabin storage spaces.
Tata Motors also developed new three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, called Revotron and Revotorq respectively, which were introduced in the Tiago. The 1.2-litre Revotron petrol engine is a lightweight, all-aluminium, four-valve, DOHC setup with variable cam timing for the intake valves. The Revotorq is the three-cylinder 1.05-litre turbo-diesel with a cast iron block, aluminium head and four-valve, twin-cam setup.
With an ARAI-rated fuel efficiency of 23.48kpl for the petrol variant and 27.28kpl for the diesel, the Tiago locks horns with the Maruti Celerio, which is rated at 23.1kpl for the petrol variant and 27.6kpl for the diesel.
A game-changer for Tata Motors
At the launch in April 2016, Tata Motors’ MD and CEO Guenter Butschek was bullish on the Tiago. He told Autocar Professional then, “The Tiago plays an important role in the market and it's equally important internally. It is the first product that has been effectively engineered and brought into manufacturing on a whole new set of processes in engineering, manufacturing, quality and supply chain management where we used it as to prove that we can actually do the business differently. The nice thing in our industry is that you get something in return immediately – it is called volume and market share!
“This is a product that cannot be easily put in any of the different boxes. From a pricing point of view, we are medium, from a length point of view we are in a sweet spot between medium and high, and from a feature point of view we are rather high. So, therefore, we have a good opportunity to challenge the market segment; we can even redefine the market segmentation to make the Tiago a real game-changer.