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Tata Motors to debut a small car and a compact sedan soon

November 20, 2013 12:01 IST

Tata Motors to debut a small car and a compact sedan soon

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Swaraj Baggonkar in Mumbai

After a three-year hiatus, Tata Motors, India’s fourth-largest car maker, will launch two all-new products next year.

The new products - a hatchback and compact sedan - will be launched at the Auto Expo in February.

This would be followed by their commercial launch. The new hatchback (codenamed Falcon 4) will sit alongside the existing Indica and Vista models; the company has ruled out phasing out either of the two models.

Similarly, the new compact sedan (codenamed Falcon 5) will complement the Indigo CS, the country’s first compact sedan.

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Image: Tata Indica.
Photographs: Courtesy, Tata Motors

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“We are not looking to replace any of our current brands. There are opportunities and spaces for us to address. These are high-performance vehicles, with a differentiated feature and new driving dynamics,” said Ranjit Yadav, president (passenger vehicle business unit), Tata Motors.

“We have planned a portfolio where we will be bringing new vehicles every year up to 2020. Next year, we will launch completely new cars. It will have a completely new DNA, with modified platforms, new attributes, powertrains and design language. Actually, these cars are for the global markets. So, we will launch them first in India and then take these to select international markets from 2015,” Yadav said.

The design and style of both the models will be very different from any existing Tata Motors model. Yadav said feedback from potential customers and dealers would also play a part in developing the new vehicles.

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Image: Tata Indigo.
Photographs: Courtesy, Tata Motors

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The new model in the hatchback segment will be the company’s first in about five years. Tata Motors has been slow in bringing new products to the market.

Multi-seater premium utility vehicle Aria was launched as a completely new product three years ago.

By comparison, the gap between the launch of General Motors models Sail, Sail UVA and the Enjoy was less than a year. Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest car maker, launched two new models, the Alto 800 and the Stingray, in a gap of less than ten months.

Tata Motors refused to specify the price points of the new vehicles.

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Image: Tata Aria.
Photographs: Courtesy, Tata Motors

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Tata Motors to debut a small car and a compact sedan soon

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While the Indica is priced at Rs 453,480, the Vista is available at Rs 472,474 (both ex-showroom, Mumbai).

The Indigo CS uses the same platform as the Indica and is priced at Rs 510,340 (ex-showroom, Mumbai).

This compact sedan, launched in 2008, eventually replaced the regular Indigo, as sales of the latter dwindled.

The new compact sedan will boost the company’s presence in the segment, which sees monthly sales of more than 10,000 units. Apart from the Indigo CS, Honda’s Amaze is the other model in the segment.

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Image: Honda Amaze.
Photographs: Courtesy, Honda

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Tata Motors has developed a new turbo-charged 1.2-litre petrol engine for the two new models, looking at the demand trend swinging back in favour of petrol.

The company had developed this engine in partnership with companies in the UK and Korea. Also on offer will be the 1.3-litre Fiat-developed multi-jet diesel engine seen in the Vista and the Manza.

“We have been working on a portfolio for a while. So, we have sharpened and crafted it. Most of the work done on these new models is in-house. We will see a difference in design. We believe we have designs that would be contemporary for the next five years,” Yadav said.

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Image: Tata Manza.
Photographs: Courtesy, Tata Motors

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For the quarter ended September, Tata Motors recorded it biggest quarterly stand-alone net loss - Rs 803 crore (Rs 8.03 billion).

According to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, at 128,263 units, Tata Motors recorded a 35 per cent drop in sales during the April-October period, compared to the corresponding period last year.

The company is looking to regain lost ground with the help of these two new launches.

From being the third largest passenger vehicle manufacturer the company slipped to fourth position overtaken by Mahindra & Mahindra.


Image: Tata Safari Strome.
Photographs: Courtesy, Tata Motors

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