The company is blaming its vendors for the extended waiting period, while clarifying that capacity is not an issue at its Ranjangaon facility in Maharashtra, where the Zest is made, notes Swaraj Baggonkar.
Tata Motor’s Zest is not able to match up to its competition sales figures mainly because of production constraints, which the company has failed to iron out even three months after launch of the sedan. The waiting period on all-new car from the struggling Mumbai-based company is several weeks, even as competing models in the segment are available off-the-shelf and even at a discount.
Zest buyers are forced to wait up to six weeks for the automated manual transmission version, available only on this car in the compact sedan segment.
Mayank Pareek, president (passenger vehicle business units), Tata Motors, said, “The waiting period is around four weeks on the normal variant and six weeks for the AMT. We are looking to bring this down and are working on it.”
Maruti Suzuki’s Swift Dzire is the largest selling in this segment, while the Hyundai Xcent and Honda Amaze make the next two. After a huge promotional campaign prior to the launch, Tata Motors failed to anticipate the demand for the Zest, as well as prepare for a quick ramp-up in production.
So far the company has clocked sales of around 10,000 units of the Zest, with an average of only 3,300 units a month in three months.
The Maruti Dzire sells around 18,000 units a month, while the Hyundai Xcent clocks 6,300 units and Honda Amaze sells around 5,400 units a month.
The company is blaming its vendors for the extended waiting period, while clarifying that capacity is not an issue at its Ranjangaon facility in Maharashtra, where the Zest is made.
Tata Motors has given the contract to supply AMT boxes to Magneti Marelli, a Fiat Group company. However, the same company is also supplying AMTs to Maruti Suzuki for the Celerio and now Alto K10. Tata Motors has been in dialogue with the Italian company for increased supplies since the last few months.
"It is not necessary every time that the issue is related to production capacity at the plant. We have the capacity. But sometimes the vendors are not able to keep up with the demand and this is what has happened here. But we are working on it to increase production," added Pareek.
A sales executive at Mumbai's Concorde Motors, Tata Motors subsidiary which owns several dealerships across the country, stated that the AMT has a waiting of two months, while the petrol Zest with manual transmission has a waiting of two weeks.
Tata dealers state that the AMT version of the Zest has aroused maximum interest from buyers with many asking for test drives to experience the car. Sources say that lower availability of AMTs could be one of the reasons behind Tata Motors postponing the launch of the Bolt hatchback to the final quarter of this year. Bolt, which is built on the Zest platform, will be available with a AMT option as well.
Images: Tata Zest; Photographs: Kind courtesy, Tata Motors