Tata Motors, launched the Manza sedan on Wednesday, priced at Rs 4,80,000 (ex-showroom, Delhi). The bookings commence tomorrow. This will replace the Indigo as the company's new entry-level sedan.
The Indigo has been in production since 2002-03 and presently sells around 3,000 units a month. Its sedan version will now be phased out.
However, the Compact Sedan version, as well as the elongated and station wagon (Marina) versions will continue to be produced.
Rajiv Dube, president (passenger car business unit), Tata Motors, said, "The entry mid-sized segment has seen the least amount of action since Maruti launched the Swift DZire. This segment is growing at 3 per cent annually, with the size of 12,000 units per month".
The Manza will be available with two fuel options, seven colours and four versions -- Aqua, Aura, Aura (ABS) and Aura+. The car will be powered by a 1.4 litre Saffire petrol engine and a 1.3 litre Quadrajet diesel engine sourced from Fiat, both producing identical power.
The company has tried to position the car as a value for money product with an aim to displace the market leader, Swift Dzire of Maruti Suzuki. Other models competing in the same price band include Mahindra Renault's Logan, Ford's Ikon and Hyundai's Accent.
Some of the features the car offers are a first in the segment. These include Bluetooth connectivity through the Blue, a technology which allows the occupant to make or receive calls, listen and dictate text messages.
The top two variants will have an anti-lock braking system and airbags.
According to tests done by the Automotive Research Association of India, the Manza diesel, can deliver 21 km a litre, while the petrol version can generate 14.5 km a litre.
However, under city driving conditions, the mileage will be less by about 10 per cent.
The company refused to quantify production numbers for the Manza but said it will be produced at an independent line inside the Ranjangaon facility, jointly owned by Fiat and Tata Motors near Pune.
A collective investment of Rs 2,000 crore (Rs 20 billion) has been made by the company towards developing the car, which includes the cost of development of the Indica Vista, the new compact car launched by the company around a year earlier.
Dube also stated a proper rationalisation has been done between the Indica and Indica Vista,with the Vista now forming a majority of the sales.
While the engine driving the Vista is already BS-IV compliant, the company has not shown much interest in upgrading the Indica to the required emission norm, which will apply from April 2010. After this date, all vehicles not BS-IV compliant may only be sold outside the 11 notified cities.
The company also plans to export the Manza to markets where it already has a presence. The car has been configured suiting the international market, said company officials.