Tata Motors has a new ace up its sleeve: the Intra

In a bid to carve new market share in the small CV segment and also stave off growing competition, Tata Motors readies new last-mile assault weapon.  

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 07 May 2019 Views icon222274 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Tata Motors, which pioneered the small commercial vehicle (SCV) in India way back in 2005 with the Ace family, first revealed the new Intra compact truck at Auto Expo 2018. The Ace family of SCVs, which has sold over 2.3 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. 

Today, at a media meet in Pune, Tata Motors revealed details of the brand-new product which is designed to carve out new market share for the company in the competitive LCV marketplace and to stave off competition. The rugged new Intra, according to Tata Motors, is a product proposition base on the 4Ps of performance, productivity, pleasure to drive and prosperity.

The Intra is powered by a new-generation DI engine with develops maximum power of 70hp and 140 Nm of torque. It is mated to a five-speed gearbox with cable shift mechanism and is the first commercial vehicle in India to have a gear shift advisor (GSA). The GSA guides the driver to select the correct gear and accordingly assists to shift up or down so that fuel efficiency, a critical factor for a CV operator, can be optimised. The Intra has a top speed of 80kph.

The Intra, which is shod with 14-inch radial tyres, is claimed to have superior load-carrying capability for varied terrains and long tyre life. Tata Motors also says the vehicle has best-in-class gradeability of 45 percent for easily negotiating steep hilly roads and flyovers with ease. Front and rear rigid axle are equipped with leaf springs for enhanced load carrying capability and ease of maintenance (6 in front and 7 at the rear).

Ergonomically designed cabin has low NVH levels. Power steering is standard. Intra's smaller footprint allows easy parking on congested roads and has a low turning radius of 4.75m.

The Tata Intra, according to the company, offers a pleasurable driving experience. Right from the modern, expansive and ergonomically designed cabin with low NVH levels, power steering as standard, smaller footprint makes for easy parking on congested roads and a low turning radius of 4.75m, the Intra aims to make commercial vehicle driving a happy experience.

The Intra has a large loading deck (2512mm / 8.2 feet long x 1602mm / 5.3 feet wide) which is designed to enable the operator to transport greater volumes which in turn will translate into more revenue and higher profits. Tata Motors is offering a warranty of 2 years or 72,000km for on the new Intra which, with its rugged and reliable aggregates, which lead to low maintenance costs.

Upping the ante in the small CV segment
While the popular Ace family of mini-trucks – Ace, Ace Zip, Ace Mega and Super Ace – continues to fare well in the domestic small CV market, Tata Motors is looking to up the ante with the new Intra. Demand for the Ace family continues to grow with the Ace being the most in demand. As per Autocar Professional's industry statistics, FY2017 sales of the expansive Ace family totaled 113,595 units, growing 34 percent YoY to 152,498 in FY2018 and 25 percent in FY2019 to 190,611 units.

Meanwhile, Mahindra & Mahindra is proving to be a worth competitor. In fact, M&M with its trio of Bolero, Supro and Jeeto CVs has gone ahead of Tata Motors in FY2019 with sales of 229,352 units, with the Bolero pack accounting for the lion’s share – 176,203 units or 77 percent of M&M’s SCV sales.

Does the Intra have what it takes to give Tata Motors a new charge in the SCV market? The company seems to be going all out to target its potential buyers in Tier 1 and 2 towns. In the recent IPL cricket tournament, it had a high-visibility TV advertising campaign that runs after ‘Time Out’ and goes as ‘Tata Intra’s time has come in’. 

Tata Intra will launch on May 22, 2019.

A lot though depends on the Tata Intra's pricing. The market will know soon. Stay tuned.

Also read: Tata Motors, Mahindra CV sales begin FY2020 in slow lane

Tata Motors maintains CV leadership amidst intense competition

Maruti Super Carry grabs 10% market share in India’s mini-truck market

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