The Tata Nexon compact SUV, which was launched in the domestic market on September 21, 2017 for Rs 585,000, has driven past the 100,000 sales milestone in a scant 23 months. From September 2017 through to end-July 2019, the game-changing SUV had sold a total of 98,551 units, comprising 51,131 diesel variants and 47,420 petrol variants. Sale of an additional 1,449 units, which help the Nexon cross the 100,000-unit mark would have easily come in the first few days of August 2019. Specific sales data for August 2019 will come early in September.
The Tata Nexon was first showcased by the company at the 2016 Auto Expo held in New Delhi, and one of the main talking points about the sub-4-metre crossover was the retention of its critical design elements from its concept through to the production model.
In FY2018, Tata Motors was one of the quickest growing OEMs in the UV segment, selling a total of 51,891 UVs (+178.20%) in FY2018, compared to FY2017 sales of 18,652 units. The strong numbers were on the back of surging demand for its Nexon and also the premium Hexa SUV. In August 2018, the Nexon entered the Top 5 UV or best-selling UVs list for the first time, also crossing the 50,000 unit sales milestone.
Sustained demand for the stylish UV, whose styling bears Tata Motors’ ‘Impact’ design philosophy, has given a strong push to the company’s UV volumes and has helped the company double its UV market share. From a UV market share of 2.45 percent in FY2016, Tata Motors doubled its share to 5.63 percent in FY2018, and further increased it to 8.37 percent in FY2019 (78,756 units).
In the first four months of the ongoing fiscal (April-July 2019) and in a depressed market, Tata has sold a total of 23,474 units, which gives it a UV market share of 8.06 percent.
Sales till end-July 2019
FY2020: 15,996 (April-July 2019)
On July 19, 2019, 22 months after the Nexon's launch, Tata Motors rolled out the landmark 100,000th unit from the Ranjangaon plant, near Pune.
Production keeps pace with sales
The indications that the Nexon would be a market game-changer were always there. On November 30, 2017, less than two-and-half-months since the vehicle's launch, the 10,000th production-ready model had rolled out. Then on February 27, 2018, the 25,000th Nexon exited the Pune factory.
To ensure there is no demand-supply gap, Tata Motors has maintained consistency in its production of the Nexon. On July 19, 2019, 22 months after launch, the company rolled out the landmark 100,000th unit from the Ranjangaon plant, near Pune. While the 50,000th Nexon rolled out exactly 330 days after the vehicle’s launch on September 21, 2017, the 100,000th unit rolled out in 338 days after the 50,000th unit.
High on safety
What has helped accelerate the Nexon's sales has been its high safety quotient. In August 2018, the Tata Nexon received a strong four-star Global NCAP crash safety rating. Barely four months after that, the compact SUV fared even better, becoming the first made-in-India, sold-in-India car to achieve Global NCAP’s coveted five-star crash test rating. The Tata Nexon scored five stars for Adult Occupant Protection and three stars for Child Occupant Protection.
In December 2008, the Nexon became the first made-in-India car to ace the Global NCAP crash test, scoring a robust five-star rating.
Following the earlier four-star result, Tata Motors improved a number of safety features including making a Seat Belt Reminder (SBR) for driver and passenger a standard for all variants of the model. In addition the Nexon was required to pass a side impact test meeting UN95 side impact protection requirements.
Tested for both front and side impact, the Nexon’s structural integrity and overall safety has been evaluated in the Global NCAP crash test. The combined evaluation of both tests has resulted in a full five-star rating, the highest adult occupant safety score of (16.06/17.00) amongst all the models tested in the Indian market. The Nexon has also achieved a three-star rating for child occupant safety.
According to Rajendra Petkar - Chief Technology Officer, Tata Motors, “This achievement is the result of the relentless hard work put in by our engineers who have gone into every minute details of form, joinery, profile, material using advanced digital simulation techniques and numerous safety related tests leveraging our decades of experience. We at Tata Motors believe in working persistently towards producing cars which are compliant for a safer tomorrow.”
Tata revs ups its Nexon act
In a bid to maintain the freshness quotient, Tata Motors has recently upgraded the Nexon compact SUV's infotainment system with a larger 7.0-inch touchscreen system instead of the 6.5-inch version. The 7.0-inch infotainment screen is available on the Nexon XZ, XZ+ and XZA+ variants.
Additionally, the company has introduced a new Nexon XT+ variant priced at Rs 802,000 for the petrol and Rs 887,000 for the diesel. It replaces the Nexon XT and costs Rs 7,000 more. The Nexon XT+ gets more features like daytime running lamps, projector headlamps, 8-speaker sound system with USB/AUX/Bluetooth, a height adjustable driver's seat, front fog lamps and rear AC vents. It misses out on automatic climate control and the shark fin antenna.
The Nexon continues to be sold with the 1.2-litre turbo petrol and 1.5-litre diesel engines. The company offers an AMT gearbox as an option across the model range. The Nexon sits in a hotly contested compact SUV segment that includes the likes of the Maruti Vitara Brezza, the Ford EcoSport, Mahindra's XUV300 and the recently launched Hyundai Venue compact SUV.
The Nexon compact SUV received a mild cosmetic update in June 2019 as well, and work is underway on a heavily updated Nexon that is expected to be unveiled early next year. This update will see sheet metal changes as well as BS VI-compliant engines and more features like cruise control.
According to Autocar India, UV aficionados can get discounts of nearly Rs 55,000 on the Nexon, which is another model that gets the 3+3+3 scheme, along with an exchange bonus and cash discounts. Buyers of the rival to the Hyundai Venue, Mahindra XUV300 and Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza can now get larger discounts with the diesel engine model (110hp, 1.5-litre mated to either a 6-speed manual or AMT), though benefits on the petrol engine models (110hp, 1.2-litre turbo-petrol with 6-speed manual and AMT options) are nearly as high.
The SUV battle has just turned hotter in the price-competitive Indian marketplace what with the arrival of the aggressively priced, 16-variant Kia Seltos and the MG Hector. With the festive season opening in India on September 1, Tata Motors, as will all other OEMs, will be looking to drive sales speedily. Watch this space.
Also read: All-electric Tata Nexon EV in the works