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Old 10th December 2011, 16:00   #1
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Question Tata motors coming up with Thar / Gypsy competitor

Hi,

I am a small time Automotive component manufacturer based in Pune. On my frequent visits to various companies, I happen to see things which as an outsider make me more inquisitive. I have visited all the major manufacturers based around the Pune, Nasik belt and have seen some major developments taking place. On my recent visit to the ERC Pune (Tata factory), I happened to see something which really surprised me.

I saw a brand new Thar CRDe being driven into the R&D facility, as taking pictures are not allowed within the premises, I could not take any. On further inquiry with the employees working there, I was told that it is not surprising. It is a standard practice among companies to test competitor's vehicle (I missed the term used) to develop their product strategy. I kind of agree to this. I have also seen a Suzuki (3 door vehicle), a Renault vehicle (Kangoo?) being subjected to rigorous tests at the Tata Motor's facility. Attaching a sample photo of the Defender, which I saw in Tata Motors a few months back.

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On closer inspection, I have found out that Tata Motor's are planning to come with a competition for Thar / Gypsy category. I am not surprised, considering the kind of response Thar has generated in the market.

I was discussing this with one of my relatives who works for a reputed Auto magazine. Whether bringing out a new product for such a niche segment would make sense? What kind of people will use it? What must be the pricing? And what must be the features in terms of:-

1. Styling
2. Chassis
3. Suspension
4. Engine
5. Driveline
6. Brakes
7. Wheels & Tires
8. Transmission, Transfer case, Axles (ratios)
9. Electricals
10. Seating capacity
11. Auxiliaries and additional features if any.

The reason why I ask this is because, I own a 2003 model Safari 4WD and I am not too satisfied with its reliability, on road behavior. Resale value is also not good, so to expect Tata Motors to come with such a niche product makes be skeptical.

Yes, with the recent acquisition of JLR, Tata's have the technical backing but will it suffice? Even if they decide to come up with a product, what would be their best strategy? I am also told by one of my close friends (who is a senior HR employee) that, off late Tata Motors have hired many top executives from Mahindra & Suzuki who have proven capability with such niche vehicles. All this makes me excited and I feel something is cooking. Considering the fact, I need to get rid of my Safari (it is ageing) and as I travel long distances, drive-ability, comfort and peace of mind is what I look for. I hope they come up with a product with good specifications meeting my requirements.

What do you guys feel, is this possible?

Photo courtesy- Facebook
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Old 10th December 2011, 17:00   #2
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Default Re: Tata motors coming up with Thar / Gypsy competitor

The Defender a competitor to the THAR & Gypsy, surely not based on price.

In a price sensitive market like India, wherein we beat down the Thar mercilessly for workmanship issues, in a bid to bring down the 7 Lakh price tag, here we are talking abt a car which is in the minimum 23L++ range.

The Defender retails in the UK for over 22K UKP, which is around 20L INR. to maintain a similar price tag the localized content will have to be there.

If the Defender does come in even at that range it would be a very good buy. So start saving
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Old 10th December 2011, 17:13   #3
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Default Re: Tata motors coming up with Thar / Gypsy competitor

If Tata can design and engineer a mud-plugger with serious off-road credentials, a relatively roomy cabin, good reliability and of course, appeal, all for 5-8 lakhs, I'm sure the Thar will start to feel hot under the collar.

What Tata needs to do at the moment, is address the many issues in connection to the Aria and some other cars in the portfolio.

A proper off-road vehicle from Tata is always welcome, as long as it lives up to the expectations that it would garner at and before the time of launch.

What Tata should do, IMO, is take the Safari's chassis, improve on it, and make a tough jeep out of it. Isn't the Safari built on a ladder-frame chassis? I'm not too sure.

Also, I believe that this is a long way off. At the moment, the Merlin is top priority for Tata.

EDIT: It is indeed not a new thing for companies to try out a competitor's vehicle. Heck Ferrari and Porsche have done it too! While Ferrari borrowed the Carrera GT, Porsche got an Enzo in return.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 10th December 2011 at 17:19.
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Old 10th December 2011, 17:37   #4
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Default

I am not surprised at all considering that the father of the Thar Mr. Dhabhar has now joined Tata motors.

Honestly though Tata need to regain some presence in the volume MUV space which is ruled by Mahindra. 4x4s are expensive time pass items for manufacturers. Tata has completely ignored the high-profit UV segment, what with the vintage Sumo platform and the Safari. I guess brand T has focussed entirely on its passenger car (hatchback & sedan) presence in the last decade. In the meanwhile, Mahindra has been having a field day selling 8000 Boleros, 4000 Scorpios and 2500 Xylos month after month. Don't forget, the XUV500 is sold out too.

Last edited by GTO : 10th December 2011 at 22:19.
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Old 10th December 2011, 18:52   #5
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Default Re: Tata motors coming up with Thar / Gypsy competitor

I feel there is a Market for vehicle like JIMNY if its priced properly.
There is no Compact SUV in market except RIO.

Is TATA waiting to gauge Mini-Xylo's response?
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Old 10th December 2011, 20:48   #6
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Default Re: Tata motors coming up with Thar / Gypsy competitor

I also heard that TATA is doing some research and hence the Defender is parked near Navnit motors.

Hope TATA brings this machine to India. Competition to THAR or not this will do mighty good to the off road scenario in India.
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Old 10th December 2011, 20:53   #7
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Default Re: Tata motors coming up with Thar / Gypsy competitor

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I am not surprised at all considering that the father of the Thar Mr. Dhabhar has now joined Tata motors.
I've this feeling that this thread going to be a HUGE one, remaining on the page #1 of "New Posts" for the next couple of years.
The XUV has generated so much "shock and awe" for the other manufacturers and it wont be a surprise if we see mini-SUV segment as the second best-selling after the hatchbacks in 4-5 years. Expect the unexpected.

Last edited by sandeepmdas : 10th December 2011 at 20:58.
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Old 10th December 2011, 21:01   #8
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Default Re: Tata motors coming up with Thar / Gypsy competitor

Quote:
Originally Posted by shivshanker View Post
The Defender a competitor to the THAR & Gypsy, surely not based on price.

In a price sensitive market like India, wherein we beat down the Thar mercilessly for workmanship issues, in a bid to bring down the 7 Lakh price tag, here we are talking abt a car which is in the minimum 23L++ range.

The Defender retails in the UK for over 22K UKP, which is around 20L INR. to maintain a similar price tag the localized content will have to be there.

If the Defender does come in even at that range it would be a very good buy. So start saving
I posted a sample pic of the Defender, this is similar to what I saw at Tata Motors, that does not imply Tata will bring this vehicle. It may or may not, I have no idea, I must have clarified that in my opening post. Sorry for the confusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
If Tata can design and engineer a mud-plugger with serious off-road credentials, a relatively roomy cabin, good reliability and of course, appeal, all for 5-8 lakhs, I'm sure the Thar will start to feel hot under the collar.

A proper off-road vehicle from Tata is always welcome, as long as it lives up to the expectations that it would garner at and before the time of launch.
Exactly, but what exactly can we expect from Tata motors in terms of specifications? Will it be asking too much? What if they bring out a product which is a mix and match? Tata's should think about this carefully.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I am not surprised at all considering that the father of the Thar Mr. Dhabhar has now joined Tata motors.
So the news is confirmed, things are shaping up I guess.
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Old 10th December 2011, 21:18   #9
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Default Re: Tata motors coming up with Thar / Gypsy competitor

With DB on the job we can expect a Thar rival with features DB was unable to incorporate in the Thar. But how quickly is the question because Mahindra has moved on to another plane with XUV5OO where domestic competition is no where near.
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Old 11th December 2011, 01:26   #10
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Default Re: Tata motors coming up with Thar / Gypsy competitor

Its good news if TATA also is looking at Mini SUV segment. Its surprising why they drop or ignore their old models.

To give some competition to Gypsy and THAR they just need to bring in TATA Sierra 'Soft Top' version, give it a facelift, latest Dicor engine and 4x4. It was just the right size and shape, only if they learn to upgrade their models.
Name:  sierra26.jpg
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Many would love the original Hardtop Sierra with a 4x4 gear and why not at a price of 6 to 8 lakhs. Bang on!!

Tata motors coming up with Thar / Gypsy competitor-sierra3.jpg

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Old 11th December 2011, 01:54   #11
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Default Re: Tata motors coming up with Thar / Gypsy competitor

TATA makes some very poor look alikes. Look at the Sumo, Winger etc, all copied from the Mercs even though the TATA BENZ marriage was over a long time ago. IMHO, they have to start thinking about developing a totally new product keeping the customer in mind like how Mahindra brought the Xylo, Thar and now the XUV instead of trying to copy.
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Old 11th December 2011, 07:31   #12
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Default Re: Tata motors coming up with Thar / Gypsy competitor

Quote:
Originally Posted by esteem_lover View Post
the Sumo, Winger etc, all copied from the Mercs even though the TATA BENZ marriage was over a long time ago.
Winger is not Merc, but Renault Trafic based.
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Old 11th December 2011, 07:48   #13
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Default Re: Tata motors coming up with Thar / Gypsy competitor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ym-enjn View Post
Its good news if TATA also is looking at Mini SUV segment. Its surprising why they drop or ignore their old models.

To give some competition to Gypsy and THAR they just need to bring in TATA Sierra 'Soft Top' version, give it a facelift, latest Dicor engine and 4x4. It was just the right size and shape, only if they learn to upgrade their models.
Exactly ! Tata had some fair models in their line-up. For me, nothing yet on Indian roads evokes the same relationship to my wheels as the Sierra does. The points you have mentioned - Refresh the Sierra for quality, a better config, and may be a minor tweak of the lines, and it will make for a wonderful mini-SUV. I have posted these points earlier elsewhere on THBP too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by esteem_lover View Post
TATA makes some very poor look alikes. Look at the Sumo, Winger etc, all copied from the Mercs .
@EL, I thought the Trax was the worst looker of the three G-55 inspirations: Sumo, Bolero, Trax.

IMO, The Bolero's rear 2/3 (green-house) is very close to the G-55's. The Sumo's bonnet is close to the G-55's, and quite nice, and the rear 2/3 not bad. The Sumo itself is not a bad looker. Just that the innumerable, battered cabs make it look bad. About the Trax, well, let's leave it there

Like Rajeev said, the Winger is an ex-Renault. Straight lift - the dies themselves. No inspirations there. Not like the Sonalika & Qualis.

OTOH, Tata's "fresh" designs in the Vista & Grande - nah. Not good.

I think Tata lost a wonderful opportunity with the Grande mainly because of the styling. I think it would have been a different story if they had used the Acura MDX for some inspiration. Well defined lines, A good config, and attention to quality issues would have helped them possibly even retire the Safari, and have a fresh SUV on the road. But today, it's a double-whammy with the XUV changing the game in a way that Tata will find hard to catch up.
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Old 11th December 2011, 10:25   #14
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Default Re: Tata motors coming up with Thar / Gypsy competitor

Quote:
Originally Posted by pratikraveesh View Post

On closer inspection, I have found out that Tata Motor's are planning to come with a competition for Thar / Gypsy category. I am not surprised, considering the kind of response Thar has generated in the market.

I was discussing this with one of my relatives who works for a reputed Auto magazine. Whether bringing out a new product for such a niche segment would make sense? What kind of people will use it? What must be the pricing? And what must be the features in terms of:-

1. Styling
2. Chassis
3. Suspension
4. Engine
5. Driveline
6. Brakes
7. Wheels & Tires
8. Transmission, Transfer case, Axles (ratios)
9. Electricals
10. Seating capacity
11. Auxiliaries and additional features if any.

Yes, with the recent acquisition of JLR, Tata's have the technical backing but will it suffice? Even if they decide to come up with a product, what would be their best strategy? I am also told by one of my close friends (who is a senior HR employee) that, off late Tata Motors have hired many top executives from Mahindra & Suzuki who have proven capability with such niche vehicles. All this makes me excited and I feel something is cooking.
with BD sir working on the project i am sure that those 10 points will be taken care of.

but i am not sure about the 1st point as we still dont know what is the base vehicle for the project. (looks only)IMO most of above vehicles use same drive-line for the current 4x4 versions.

SUMO


SAFARI

TL / 207




XENON



Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I am not surprised at all considering that the father of the Thar Mr. Dhabhar has now joined Tata motors.

In the meanwhile, Mahindra has been having a field day selling 8000 Boleros.

Last edited by jeepster : 11th December 2011 at 10:30.
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Old 11th December 2011, 10:59   #15
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Default Re: Tata motors coming up with Thar / Gypsy competitor

here is a video of new SUMO GOLD.

looks like this video is created to show the offroad capabilities of the new SUMO.


Last edited by jeepster : 11th December 2011 at 11:03.
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