Expecting fierce competition in diesel cars, Tata Motors will launch an all-new generation of Indica cars from a new platform.
Pegged as its global car, the new car will initially be an export model, with the European market in mind, and to be introduced in India in two years.
The new range, tentatively named V3 by sources, will have a different name under the overall Indica brand and a new design. The powertrain technology will also be changed and a new set of multijet-based direct common rail diesel engines are expected.
The car is being developed with technical knowhow from Fiat Motor, Tata Motors's joint venture partner. Other models such as Indigo and Marina, which share a platform with Indica, are also set to undergo a transformation.
Saying these cars were "being developed from scratch", Rajiv Dubey, president, passenger cars, Tata Motors, told Business Standard that the cars were still in the conceptual stage but would be completely new. "Our policy is to change our car platform after 8 or 9 years," he added. The current Indica was introduced a decade back.
Industry sources, however, say the new prototype is already being tested. The car is slightly bigger than the current Indica with the fit and finish expected to match Honda or Hyundai models. It carries bigger and arched xenon headlights and improved safety features.
The new cars are expected to counter Maruti's new Swift diesel, and models such as the Zen Estilo and new Baleno, which are likely to be launched in the diesel segment. Tata Motor is also facing the heat from other diesel cars such as Ford Fiesta and Hyundai Verna, which are gradually increasing their pie in the sale of diesel cars in India.Indica corners 13 per cent market share in passenger cars, with sales of 103,078 units. The company exports 15,000 cars from its Indica platform to Russia, South Africa and Europe every year.