‘We have decided to be among the leaders in Total Cost of Ownership. That’s what we have achieved.”

Tata Motors’ Girish Wagh speaks to Sumantra B Barooah on the engineering effort in the Zest sedan, cost of ownership, synergies with JLR and partnerships with suppliers.

By Sumantra B Barooah calendar 12 Aug 2014 Views icon5850 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Tata Motors’ Girish Wagh speaks to Sumantra B Barooah on the engineering effort in the Zest sedan, cost of ownership, synergies with JLR and partnerships with suppliers.

Can you elaborate on the engineering efforts that went into the Tata Zest?
First, of the entire service interval, which is today around 10,000km, we are increasing it to 15,000km. Essentially, the life of the engine oil and trans-axle oil increases. Not only 15,000km but in multiples of 15,000km, there are some consumables and wearable parts that need to be checked. The coolant life has been upped to 60,000km. These are some consumables where we have increased the life. As a result, the cost to the consumer is less. We have worked to lower the total cost of ownership or TCO.

How does the Zest fare in total cost of ownership versus the competition?
We want to be amongst the leaders. We have always been known for good cost of ownership. Here we have decided to be amongst the leaders in cost of operation and have achieved it.

Many OEMs are reducing the number of components. Have you achieved any success in this regard?
We can look at it at two levels — whether one can source higher level of assemblies or design fewer parts. One of our major efforts is how many parts we have. Fewer parts mean fewer failure modes. But the main objective is that the product meets the required positioning.
In terms of sourcing higher level of assemblies, yes, we have been gradually doing that. Also, depending upon the business case in every specific consideration, we take a call — what kind of assembly should we buy from the supplier?

As a carmaker, how much has Tata Motors evolved over the years?
We are proud to have some of the best and most passionate engineers working with Tata Motors. Over the years, we have given them a lot of global exposure including going to auto shows abroad but more so getting outside experts into our organisation in specific areas of importance. In many areas, we work with consultants. The partnership with JLR has been a big input in multiple areas.
Our partnerships with suppliers are also on the rise and this brings in technological inputs. We have strong partnerships with Bosch and are increasingly having more Bosch-like relationships, if I may say so. Harman and ZF Lenksysteme are others that come to mind.
So, over the years, we have improved processes to take them to the global level. We have improved the kind of inputs and exposure that we give our people. This ensures that we are able to produce products which are of that level. And, finally, the organisational interventions are being implemented.

Also read: Tata Zest makes its debut at Rs 4.64 lakh http://bit.ly/1kyqRk5

Tata Motors pulls out all stops to drive with new Zest - http://bit.ly/1AamhMx

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