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Rediff.com  » Business » Tata Motors to let buyers design their Harrier SUVs

Tata Motors to let buyers design their Harrier SUVs

July 23, 2018 15:50 IST

A digital configurator comprising a three-dimensional graphics-based app will allow customers to choose specifications and align the output generated by the tool to company's back-end manufacturing.

Tata Motors will soon shift gears to “Do it Yourself” (DIY) mode as a business strategy with the launch of Harrier, a five-seater sports utility vehicle.

 

As part of the plan, a digital configurator comprising a three-dimensional graphics-based front-end application (app) will allow customers to choose the power train, brakes, suspension types, seating configuration, add-on kits and align the output generated by the tool to company’s back-end manufacturing and supply chain, to churn out the specific order.

The DIY will also straddle to its core truck business empowering buyers to configure the vehicle of their choice. Given the high number of variants and multiple needs of the trucking industry, the technology can be of immense value in reduction in time-to-market, enhance efficiency and create a differentiation, Rajendra Petkar, chief technology officer, Tata Motors, told Business Standard in an interview.

The Harrier, which is scheduled to be launched in the first quarter of next fiscal, will be the maiden offering based on the so-called Omega architecture.

The modular nature of the platform will not only help the Tata Motors launch multiple models of the same platform with a high number of common parts, but also empower its buyers make a choice that goes beyond choosing just colour, upholstery, interiors and other bells and whistles, said Petkar.

“This will be a big step-up from offering customisation, and a first for car buyers in India.

The tool will help the company significantly reduce the time to market its products and enhance operational efficiency and save costs,” he added.

Typically, when people talk about the modular architecture, they refer to the back-end, he pointed out.

“Here I am talking about front-end, both the Omega and Alpha (the platform architecture for cars) will allow buyers to configure their own models,” said Petkar.

Designed in-house by Tata Motors’ engineering team, the configuration tool developed over a year-and-a-half, when operationalised, will be a part of Tata Motors’ existing eGuru app that is compatible on all iOS, Android and Windows laptops as a part of TML Super-app framework.

The Nexon, the company’s sub-four meter offering in the SUV segment, also allows buyers to configure but the customisation is confined to choice of colour and accessories.

Therefore, the configurator for the Harrier and other models from the same platform will be a significant “step-up,” from that of the Nexon, said Petkar.

Customise your vehicle

When a customer comes to the dealer, a sales representative will take him/her through the options available on the devices, with a unique configuration ID assigned for customer identification.

The options and variants selected by the customer along with the configuration ID will be loaded into the Tata Motors’ customer relationship management system for further order and payment processing.

The data will be loaded on to the TML SAP system for production, and tracking internally, till the vehicle is delivered to the customer.

Customise your car

  • As part of the plan, a digital configurator will allow customers to choose  the power train, brakes, suspension types, seating configuration, add-on kits, among others
  • The DIY will also straddle to its core truck business empowering buyers to configure vehicle of their choice
  • The Harrier will be the maiden offering based on the so-called Omega architecture
  • The modular nature of the platform will empower buyers make a choice that goes beyond choosing just colour, upholstery, interiors and other bells and whistles
Shally Seth Mohile in Mumbai
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