Tata Motors expands product spectrum

Company hopes to create new segments in semi-urban and rural passenger transportation with the launch of Magic, Winger.

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 06 Jul 2007 Views icon7340 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Tata Motors kicked off its launch season with the Magic and Winger, two products it hopes will rewrite the rules of semi-urban and rural passenger transportation. The Magic is the four-wheeled equivalent of the ubiquitous autorickshaw, while the Winger range offers the comforts of a car with the spaciousness of a bus for intra-city and long-distance transportation needs.

The company has invested between Rs 150-200 crore for each of these products. While the Magic is developed on the Ace platform, the Winger is derived from Renault’s Trafic van, the tools and dies for which were acquired by Tata Motors some time ago. Although it is creating a new segment, in essence the Magic will compete in a market dominated by three-wheelers led by Bajaj Auto and Piaggio. Cumulative sales three-wheeled passenger-carriers were nearly 237,000 units in 2006-07.

In line with company policy, vice president sales and marketing, commercial vehicles, Shyam Mani, refused to give out production or sales targets. “We hope it will be the dominant player in its segment,” he said at the launch of the vehicles in Pune. The Magic range starts at Rs 2.60 lakh. Tata Motors is hoping that the Magic will follow in the footsteps of the Ace, which has been a runaway success. The company sold 70,000 units of the Ace last year and it expects a 25 percent growth in sales this year although it faces competition from newly launched Truk from Piaggio.

Like the Magic, the 9-13 seater Winger will also create a new segment. But again, in its 13-seater guise the vehicle competes with the Traveler from Force Motors. Its 9-10 seater versions would compete with the Toyota Innova and the Tavera from General Motors. The Winger comes in three levels of comfort – standard, deluxe and luxury – and 11 variants. Its attractive pricing, starting from Rs.4.70 lakh, may well turn out to be its trump card in pushing sales.

MARKETING STRATEGY

Tata Motor’s marketing strategy will revolve around Winger’s versatility which allows it to be used both for long-distance transport as well as intra-city needs. Its flexi-seating make it a good choice as staff transport (especially in the burgeoning IT BPO sector), hotel and airport transfers, tourist usage, ambulance, and school van among others.

Executive director, commercial vehicle business unit, PM Telang said, “The Magic and Winger are our latest initiatives in offering transportation solutions which will change the way India travels. We are very hopeful that they will deliver the same success as we have had with our market leading range of commercial and passenger vehicles.”

Both vehicles will be made in Pune and Telang said that there were no immediate plans to take them to Pantnagar, Uttarakhand, where the company is setting up a new plant with a capacity of 350,000-400,000 vehicles annually. This will include 60,000 units of the Ace.

SANDEEP BELAGAJEE
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