Jeep like rugged SUV being evaluated, says N Chandrasekaran
“Tata Motors continues to evaluate all the different spaces. (Jeep like SUV) This is also getting evaluated," said N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Motors.
Tata Motors, the country's third largest car maker, is evaluating a rugged 4X4 SUV like Jeep SUV or an SUV like the Thar or Jimny, as it seeks to gain volumes and market share in the coming years.
In a response to a query from a shareholder at Tata Motors’ 78th Annual General Meeting on whether the company is exploring a Jeep like SUV – N Chandrasekaran, the chairman of the company said, “Tata Motors continues to evaluate all the different spaces. (Jeep like SUV) This is also getting evaluated.”
Tata Motors was the largest SUV player in India at the end of FY23 and it offered SUVs right from entry level buyers with a product like the Punch, right up to the 7-seater Safari SUV.
Chandrasekaran further said, “We have many options that we are considering, we will make a decision to launch the product in the appropriate segment and space. But whenever we launch it, it won't be a me-too product, it will be with a differentiation."
This comment from Chandrasekaran comes at a time when Tata Motors will be launching its crossover coupe Curvv, carving a new segment in the mainstream SUV market and it also plans to rehash its lifestyle SUV Sierra, which may potentially come with an off roading avatar. And these new vehicles will be positioned right in the heart of the growing Rs 12 lakh to Rs 25 lakh price points.
To be sure, the rugged SUV like Mahindra Thar in its new generation has been a roaring success since its relaunch in 2020. The maker of Scorpio and Bolero has already sold over l lakh units and it still has an open booking of 68,000 units with waiting period for over a year.
To challenge the Mahindra Thar, the country’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki too has launched the Jimny SUV with a strong 4X4 capabilities. The compact 4X4 SUV has also crossed a booking milestone of over 50,000 units, underlining the need for these vehicles in the Indian market.
Delivering high performance, lifestyle SUV with 4X4 capability is not new to Tata Motors, it has given vehicles such as the Safari in the past, and it also showcased the Harrier EV with 4 wheel drive capabilities at the Auto Expo of 2023. Besides this, Tata Motors also has the legendary Land Rover capabilities within the group, if it decides to leverage on their strength.
However, a rugged 4X4 vehicle concept akin to a Jeep or Thar is yet to be seen from the Tata stable.
The Chairman said the Indian market will potentially grow to 10 million units in the coming decades and Tata Motors would look to gain volumes and market share in this growing market.
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