Tata SUVs break the mould in safety, design

This 3.8 m compact SUV contributed a fifth to Tata’s tally of 100,000 units sold between October 2021 to January 2022.

By Brian de Souza calendar 14 Mar 2022 Views icon20850 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Tata Motors is making big strides in its SUV business. Last October, it launched its compact SUV, the Punch, which has sold in good numbers and has given the company’s SUV business a major thrust.

This 3.8 m compact SUV contributed a fifth to the company’s tally of 100,000 units sold in the period October 2021 to January 2022.

Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Customer Care, Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles, Rajan Amba says, “Our overall marketshare has gone up to 22 percent in SUVs, and in the two segments in which we are present, our share in now 33-35 percent.” Amba was speaking at last month’s launch of the Kaziranga editions which Tata has introduced in the top trim of its four offerings which also includes the Nexon, Safari and Harrier.

Asked about the strategy for SUVs, Amba puts is succinctly. Tata Motors wanted to be “where the customer is”. Getting there, he explains has meant several things and the company worked assiduously to make its presence in the SUV segment. The market has been moving towards SUVs, and “ we haven’t been late”, Amba says adding that Tata Motors leveraged the momentum in SUVs taking several interventions over the last year. This included the launch of the Safari and Punch, as well as aesthetic interventions such as the Dark and Gold editions. At a time when others were cutting down, we were investing more, reiterates Amba. “We used this as an opportunity to front end our true capabilities,” he adds.

Amba reiterates that as the company emerged from the pandemic, “everyday has been Day1” and that “ it was necessary to be humble”. Tata was at single digit market share for PVs and today, it can be proud of the fact that “its efforts have paid off”. Amba insists that “we did not take the customer for granted”.

Naming its special edition line-up after Kaziranga, Amba explains was a conscious decision to take inspiration from India which has its own unique natural diversity “ The Kaziranga does represent India and while parks in the west are better known, we wanted to also bring in the uniqueness of Kaziranga which is ion another part of the country,” he adds.

Happy dealers

The volume growth that Tata is seeing has made its dealers “ the happiest in the community”, says Amba not only because of the financial aspect but the success of the brand. He is then quick to acknowledge that the dealers have been with us “ through thick and thin and they have stood by us”. On their part, the dealers have invested in showrooms, in expansion and across the platform, we see “renewed energy and excitement”. Tata Motors continues to work closely with its dealers and has deepened the involvement and integration over the last 18 months or so.

Amba also says that the company has pulled out all stops to ensure that its SUV business can continue to be robust and impactful. He reiterates that like all OEMs, Tata Motors too operates in a world of new technologies in India and overseas, and moreover, the consumer in all categories has evolved. He also admits that while demand has gone up, new players in the segment, a reference to aggressive players like Kia and MG Rover means no player can afford to be found sleeping at the wheel, figuratively speaking.

Tata Motors’ journey to a robust position in SUVs has hinged on several factors. As Amba explains it, this includes design and alludes to the big SUV offering of the company, the Harrier which is rugged and literally screams “ SUV”. Tata, he explains has learnt that the design aspect has “equity with the customer”.

Tata Motors has also broken the mould in safety and that this has been agreed to by the customer. The Punch scored a full five star-rating in Global NCAP's crash tests with the organisation giving the compact SUV a four-star rating for child occupant safety. Amba also says the company had the “guts” to launch the Dark editions even though it does have very positive connotations for Indian buyers.

Finally, Amba signs off by saying that the introduction of a CNG option in the upper end of the Tiago and Tigor has got off to a great start with sales of both offerings in the region of 3,000 units in the very first month. As he says, “We have a great bookings pipeline and got the price right. At the end of the day, the Indian customer does not want to be treated as cheap and is actually very economy-minded.”



Oben Electric to set up 50 new showrooms and service centres in 12 Indian cities

auther Autocar Pro News Desk calendar28 May 2024

Following its entry into the key markets of Delhi, Pune, Kochi and Trivandrum, Bengaluru-based electric bike maker sets ...

Toyota Technical Training Institute students shine at India Skills Competition 2024

auther Autocar Pro News Desk calendar24 May 2024

Ten students from the Toyota Technical Training Institute display exemplary skills across contests in additive manufactu...

BYD Seal e-sedan gets over 1,000 bookings since March 5 launch

auther Autocar Pro News Desk calendar20 May 2024

Premium electric sedan from world’s largest EV maker, with pricing ranging from Rs 41 lakh to Rs 53 lakh, gets a good re...