Tata Motors plans product roll-outs to drive growth

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Mayank PareekTata Motors, which has seen a steady decline in its domestic passenger vehicle business, is looking at aggressive product roll-outs and a push in its dealer network to regain the market presence.

It saw market share decline to 5.2 per cent from 7.8 per cent in 2013-14, and plans to roll out two all-new products annually till 2020, Tata Motors President (Passenger Vehicles) Mayank Pareek told a media round-table here on Monday.

He said the ‘Horizonnext’ strategy launched last year would start seeing results soon.

“We hope to achieve positive growth by the end of this fiscal,’’ he said adding that product rationalisation would be done. “It has nothing to do with the age of the model but of product relevance.”

The company has chalked out a strategy to improve customer service, expand distribution and dealer network. “We have to do a lot of work to spread to rural markets. Out of 3,800 tehsils in India, we are present in less than 200 and fewer than 300 cities out of 2,000. We also have to penetrate deeper in the areas where we are present.”

He said the best competitors had a 30 per cent rural penetration against Tata Motors’ 16 per cent. “We will consider synergy with our commercial vehicle dealers and service stations as part of our new format.’’

Since its September launch, 10,000 units of its new sedan Zest were delivered, but the automated manual transmission (AMT) version has a six-month waiting list and the petrol version has a 3-4 month wait period. “All manufacturers got it wrong with the AMT and the anticipated demand. The sole supplier for AMT is Magnetti, but surely over time, new players will enter and capacities will rise. In a decade, every second car sold in India will be AMT.”

Admitting that things had not been good for the domestic passenger vehicle industry, Mr. Pareek said the positive was an improvement in the number of first-time buyers. “For fiscal 2014-15, I expect the industry to grow sub-5 per cent, which is better than last year.”

On the impression that the Tata brand had suffered in the passenger vehicle space, Mr. Pareek said, “brands are not cast in stone. All it takes is one success and things turn around. We have the inherent strength to do it.’’

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