Tata Motors, the largest commercial vehicle player in India, made full use of the Auto Expo 2018 by unveiling completely new products which are aimed at addressing the changing dynamics of the industry. The company showcased 15 different vehicles across platforms and segments.
As is known, in August 2017, the company revealed an aggressive turnaround strategy to regain five percent market share across both its commercial vehicle and passenger vehicle businesses. And the gameplan seems to be working barely six months from that revelation.
In the overall CV segment, in the April 2017-January 2018 period, the company has increased its market share to 44.09 percent from 43.34 percent a year ago, with sales of 291,016 units (April 2016-January 2017: 242,682).
At the Auto Expo, on the electric mobility front, it showcased a 12-metre-long electric bus with a smart bus stop and passenger carriers, and last-mile connectivity products in the form of the Magic and Iris EVs.
Leveraging its new modular Ultra platform, Tata Motors unveiled the Ultra T.7, an elegant LCV with a 1.9-metre-wide cabin to redefine goods transportation in the 7-tonne segment, delivering faster turnaround, higher fuel economy and lower total cost of ownership.
In addition, there was the Magna bus claimed to be India’s first bus body code-compliant, two-axle OEM coach with modern design and engineering inputs from Tata’s Brazilian partner Marcopolo. Also on display was the Xenon special police vehicle that showcased Tata Motors’ defence capabilities in city protection.
New Intra drives in to stave off growing SCV competition
Tata Motors, which pioneered the small commercial vehicle (SCV) in India way back in 2005 with the Ace family, took the covers off the new Intra compact truck at the Auto Expo. The Ace family of SCVs, which has sold over 2 million units till now, has seen competition growing sizeably in the last-mile transportation segment which is why the Intra has been introduced on an all-new platform.
Tata Motors is promising operators higher profitability, levels of performance, comfort and convenience with the Intra. The new SCV’s 1.4-litre Dicor engine develops 70hp and is claimed to offer lower turnaround time, leading to a higher number of trips. The 8.2-foot-long load body is suitable for various applications. Among the vehicle’s highlights are superior driving comfort, ergonomics, power steering, mobile charger point, lockable glovebox, storage on electronic cluster and car-like interiors.
Signa 4323 targets demand for high-tonnage trucks
The highlight of Tata’s CV pavilion was its medium and heavy commercial vehicles. Taking pride of place was the Signa 4323, India’s first six-axle rigid truck with a 30-tonne payload, the highest in the market.
The company is looking to make the most of the buyer shift towards high-tonnage vehicles as stricter enforcement of overloading laws across the country has resulted in fleet operators preferring rated loads. Also, with GST kicking in, truck productivity has increased significantly and fleet operators are looking at improved cost of operation with higher-tonnage trucks. With the Signa 4323, Tata Motors has now upped the ante in the segment. Reports also suggest that other OEMs are working on similar products, slated to be unveiled soon.
Tata Motors also displayed the Prima 3718 M&HCV with the first-of-its-kind Haulmaax advanced rubber suspension system and the Prima 4930.S equipped with the latest, advanced safety and driving features. Catering to the needs of cities under construction was the Signa 2518 mounted with a Schwing Stetter boom pump.
Expanding its engine family to become future-ready for the transition to BS VI, Tata Motors revealed its new-generation, 3- and 5-litre diesel Turbotron engines for its CV applications. The modern engines offer superior fuel economy, greater performance (flat torque curve and high low-end torque), lower TCO, better reliability, and durability.
Speaking to Autocar Professional on Tata Motors’ expansive presence at the Auto Expo, Girish Wagh, head, Commercial Vehicle Business Unit, said, “Being a full commercial vehicle player, we have come out with a new product in each segment. Each of the products on display have seen changes in terms of customer preference, technology and regulation. There is clearly a customer pool to move up in payload in each segment as the country has moved to the rated payload. Keeping these changes in mind, we are getting ourselves ready with the products on display.”
Read more: CV OEMs record robust sales in January 2018