Tata Motors sees growth in compact SUVs

Hyderabad: Tata Motors, the $42 billion automobile manufacturer which has launched four products in the last 16 months is all set to capture a bigger pie in the market. The company is seeing potential in the compact SUV segment.

The company has entered into the compact SUV segment with Nexon, which currently occupies about 10-11 per cent of the 3.1 million passenger vehicles market in the country. The company is bullish on the prospects of the automobile sales well above the industry average.

Tata Motors president Passenger Vehicle Business unit Mayank Pareek, said, “Last year the market grew at about nine per cent while it’s sales went up by 22 per cent. This year, the company sees the market to grow at eight per cent while the company expects to clock over 11 per cent. The size of the compact SUV segment is growing and is expect to be a 3.6 lakh vehicle this year. Four years back the segment did not exist and now it is growing at a rate of 39 per cent.”

On sector trends he said, compact sedan segment has started shrinking in the country, many customers started going for premium hatchbacks and compact SUVs. And in the cab aggregator space, volumes are gradually dipping in India.

The company saw some impact of GST roll out on its sales between May 15 and July 15 this year which it expects to be offset by the upcoming festive season when sales will pick up. The company is expecting its passenger vehicle sales growth to go up from 1.52 lakh vehicles to over two lakh vehicles. New models being worked out by Tata Motors as well as dealer network being expanded and branding being revamped to capture a bigger market share.

“As part of the aggressive turnaround strategy, we have renewed focus on filling in product gaps and tapping the white spaces that will emerge. Conceptualised as a lifestyle SUV for young progressive individuals, the Nexon is the culmination of this radical shift in thinking and will further expand Tata Motors’ addressable market,” Pareek added.

Future focus

Going forward, the company will bring its portfolio of vehicles under two platforms- Advanced Modular Platform that will comprise of small and big hatchbacks, small and big sedans with a significant emphasis on serviceability and JLR/Land Rover Platform where the focus will be on small to larger SUVs. With both the platforms, the automobile maker eye about 95 per cent market coverage by 2020.

On the newer opportunities and trends such as connected, electric and driverless cars in the automotive space, he told Telangana Today, “There is still a lot of confusion in the market on the connected cars. Definition of connected cars is evolving on what it means and what it takes and we are working on it. The bigger opportunity is electric cars.”

“We could utilise the existing manufacturing capabilities for making electric cars. Primarily we will focus on domestic electric car market and then we will look at export opportunities,” he informed.

The company has started working on electric cars from 2010 onwards. Once the charging infrastructure is ready, the company will be read to roll out with vehicles as it has technology in place. Electric vehicles will ensure energy security.

Tata Nexon

The petrol variant of Nexon is available at an introductory price of Rs 5,92,356 ex-showroom Hyderabad while the diesel variant is priced at Rs 6,92,474.

The company said it brought out a revolutionary design of ‘Breaking the Box’ with an aerodynamic silhouette. It’s design element enhances the sporty character yet retains the features of a SUV. Available in four variants- XE, XM, XT and XZ+, Nexon comes in five colours- Vermont Red, Moroccon Bluem Seattle Silver, Glasgow Grey and Calgary White.

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