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Old 12th June 2012, 20:43   #1
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Default Tata Ace - The Magic in the Indian CV Industry

The "last mile Connectivity" is the final leg of delivering connectivity from a hub to a customer.

Historically there was a launch mile connectivity. Three wheelers were available from various manufacturers. But they were not highly reliable. Air cooled engines, often heats up during peak summer while hauling heavy loads(500kgs). They were not highly reliable for intercity application. So though there was a segment but products were not fully catering to the needs.

So there was good potential to an extent. But to what extent?.The meaning of "What extent" is selling 500,000 vehicles in 5 years. Was the TIV so big, or anybody dared to project so much TIV? I dont know.
But I can boldly tell its only with the lauch of Ace the potential and the actual volumes in the last mile connectivily was unearthed.

It eventually blowed off some products like the industry first Tempo Minidor(AFAIK) and many other similar products. Now its the undisputed leader selling 1.86 lks in last year. Growing at a YoY average of 26%, its obvious that this will cross 2 lks in this year. This will be an yet an another record in the rocking sales chart of Ace.

The first record was, selling 100,000 in just 20 months and next Ace was first CV to cross sales volume of 100,000 in single year.

Was the looks, advertisement campaign or the problems in other competition products or a cumulative effect all this, which is still a mystery what lead to extra ordinary sales of Ace. When Ace was launched people owned one like the flood flowing from the dam (in tamil Madai thiranthu paaivathi pol).

Infact it went to an extent that marriage was more easy for bridegroom's who owned a Ace(4 wheeler) rather than owning a three wheeler(Auto). They were considered a elite amoung others and many migrated from Auto to Ace.

Ace was developed keeping in mind one simple thing - providing last mile connectivilty at a bare minimum price. This was lauched at a price of 2.4 lks in TN initially. The reception was huge and it was a initial declared hit. Initially due to reduced ground clearance there were issues of rear axle hitting ground in many cases. But this was corrected quickly and came with improved suspension as Ace HT.

How many of us know, the little Nano had many of the cues developed from Ace.THe Project Manager was same and the learnings were quite helpful for them to develop Nano.

The same story was repeated when it was exported to many countries like Srilanka, Bangladesh and South Africa. Tata even set up a assembly plant in South Africa to cater to local needs.

The important variant of Ace was a rural people carrier - The Magic. This was in the similar manner to Ace in engineering - bare minumum engineering effort, but spot on to the requirement and need.
I still cant remember how I travelled from Adyar to CMBT in chennai some three years back. Was that only through MTC, then it would be atleast a 2 hrs journey. But now thanks to the Magic in every nook and corner, I can travel in this stretch in a hour or so.
Its Magic that is churning rural passenger tranportation now.

Having tasted the success of replacing three wheeler in 0.75T, Tata is going one more step down to use the same formula in 0.6T with the launch of Ace Zip.

Think about new segment creator and leader, when you cross the cute little ACE the next time.


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Last edited by GTO : 13th June 2012 at 16:16. Reason: Typo
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Old 13th June 2012, 16:17   #2
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Default Re: Tata Ace - The Magic in the Indian CV Industry

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Commercial Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 13th June 2012, 16:39   #3
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Default Re: Tata Ace - The Magic in the Indian CV Industry

Tata Ace has been a veru successful vehicle. It is mainly because it offered 4 wheels compared to the competition who offered only 3 wheels. Anyday a 4 wheeler commands better respect than a 3 wheeler. Take mum-pune expressway for example. 3 wheeler tempos are not allowed, but ACE is allowed.

ACE Variations like Magic also is a runaway hit, replacing Piaggio Auto-Rickshaws (Share Autos).
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Old 13th June 2012, 19:11   #4
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Default Re: Tata Ace - The Magic in the Indian CV Industry

Quote:
Originally Posted by scopriobharath View Post
Take mum-pune expressway for example. 3 wheeler tempos are not allowed, but ACE is allowed.
I am into manufacturing business with vendor base in Mumbai and Kolhapur.
Earlier my delivery schedules used to suffer due to erratic inter city logistics operators.
I suffered a lot in emergency situations. I used to hire a Tata 407 or higher capacity at a premium to deal with such situations. My typical haulage is between 500 to 1000 kg. A 407 or a Mahindra pickup is overkill for my usage. Charges are above Rs 6000/- for single and Rs 8000/- for Mumbai return trip.

Now after the ACE evolution,I suddenly have a lot of economical options to choose from. Tariff varies from Rs 3300/- to Rs 3600/- for single and Rs 4500/- for Mumbai return trip.
1. Ace Zip
2. Ace HT
3. Super Ace
4. Mahindra Maxximo
5. Leyland Dost.

Incidentally I have driven the Ace HT and the Mahindra maxximo on the Mumbai Pune Express way with full loads. Both the vehicles felt pretty solid. I would like to express a few positives of each vehicle with respect to the other.

Tata Ace HT:
1. Better highway stability.
2. Better Fuel efficiency.
3. Use of leaf springs even at front.
4. Cheap maintenance.
5. Very powerful OEM headlights.

Mahindra Maxximo:
1. Better acceleration.
2. Better overload capability
3. Good NVH
4 Spacious cabin.

Needless to say the Ace just revolutionized the whole small CV segment scenario.
Cheers.
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Old 13th June 2012, 20:05   #5
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Default Re: Tata Ace - The Magic in the Indian CV Industry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
Infact it went to an extent that marriage was more easy for bridegroom's who owned a Ace(4 wheeler) rather than owning a three wheeler(Auto). They were considered a elite amoung others and many migrated from Auto to Ace.
This was exactly one piece of feedback from the various potential buyers and believe it or not was one of the factors instrumental in the engineering of the Ace (in its 4 wheeler form). Truly a great catch of capturing the pulse of its customers.

As quoted from Outlook Business-

Before the team started work on the product, it interviewed over 600 people who would potentially be involved in purchasing or using the Ace — these included drivers, cleaners, financiers, owners and mechanics. Inputs from these interviews were used to define the attributes of the product. An input from a buyer that he would get a better marriage proposal if the vehicle were to have four-wheels rather than the usual three underlined the boost in status associated with a four-wheel vehicle.

business.outlookindia.com | Different Drivers
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Old 13th June 2012, 20:19   #6
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Default Re: Tata Ace - The Magic in the Indian CV Industry

So why did this vehicle succeed over other 4 wheel rivals like Maxximo?

--R
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Old 13th June 2012, 20:20   #7
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Default Re: Tata Ace - The Magic in the Indian CV Industry

And that's the second time in the last two decades that Tata has redefined things. First with the 407, and now this. The current version looks pretty good too.

Though, the one grouse I have is with the drivers of these - almost every one of them is on high-beam !
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Old 13th June 2012, 21:07   #8
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Default Re: Tata Ace - The Magic in the Indian CV Industry

There is no denying the success the Ace has been here. But things would have been very different if the Jap auto-makers had not bothered about their brand-value getting diluted due to having CVs in their range and introduced their range of CVs here. In Japan, you see CVs from all makers plying on the roads - Honda, Suzuki, Mitsu etc and so wished we also could have access to them here for the quality/reliability that they would provide. Infact IIRC the brochure we got with our 1985 M800 had a pic of their CV alongside pics of the Omni and Gypsy, but while they released the Omni and Gypsy here, they decided not to bring the CV here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor
Though, the one grouse I have is with the drivers of these - almost every one of them is on high-beam !
Yeah, I also noticed this. BTW are they on perpetual high-beam or is it that their low-beam bulb itself is so powerful to blind ?
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Old 13th June 2012, 21:44   #9
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Default Re: Tata Ace - The Magic in the Indian CV Industry

Nice to see un-usual threads like this on T-BHP

I love the ACE, especially the way its evolving time to time since its inception.
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Old 13th June 2012, 21:58   #10
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Default Re: Tata Ace - The Magic in the Indian CV Industry

I would completely agree, This is definetly a game changer, I purchased one last year, and the Leyland Dost wasnt out then. But since I am also into the business of manufacturing, It helps deliver small quantities which is unfeasible for bigger trucks, It helps provide better service to customers, So far, It's been maintenance free, touchwood and would definitely recommend it to anybody who's purpose it would solve! it's worth the investment.
It gives a mileage of approxmately 15-16kmpl with an average of 1 Tonne load on each trip, which in my opinion is simply fantastic, simply because a truck would give 4-5kmpl, and then it would also serve to do odd jobs to bring small things here an there, collect a cheque from a customer if the car/2 wheeler is available. In my experience Ive been able to load about a maximum of 1800 Kgs, Didn't try beyond that, If anybody has, please do share
Haven experienced any other tata vehicles commercial or passenger,
to TATA for this one!
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Old 13th June 2012, 22:35   #11
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Default Re: Tata Ace - The Magic in the Indian CV Industry

I remember completely missing the news of Tata's launching the ACE. The first time I heard about it was when my parents were living in Raipur and I'd gone to visit them. I went to purchase some veggies one evening and the vendor asked me to come back in 30 mins as he was expecting fresh stuff to be delivered by a 'Chhota Hathi'. I remember thinking why on earth do these people transport stuff on an Elephant. It was only later that my dad told me what 'Chhota Hathi' meant in the local lingo

Another need that the Ace fulfills is day-time delivery in metros and other large cities that only allow heavy vehicles to ply within city limits after 10PM. This is particularly useful for FMCG companies like HUL, Coke etc. which need to deliver goods only during the day.
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Old 13th June 2012, 23:39   #12
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Default Re: Tata Ace - The Magic in the Indian CV Industry

Mr Girish wagh was the project manager for Ace.
For 17bhp and 2 cylinder engine the vehicle does really well.

Maxximo is the only competitor and i have noticed many Maxximo taxis in the Shirdi- Ahmednagar belt.
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Old 14th June 2012, 09:06   #13
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Default Re: Tata Ace - The Magic in the Indian CV Industry

Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
BTW are they on perpetual high-beam or is it that their low-beam bulb itself is so powerful to blind ?
Perpetually on HB. I do see the occasional ones that use the LB. (God bless them !)
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Old 14th June 2012, 10:27   #14
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Default Re: Tata Ace - The Magic in the Indian CV Industry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragul View Post
So why did this vehicle succeed over other 4 wheel rivals like Maxximo?
--R
Quote:
Maxximo is the only competitor and i have noticed many Maxximo taxis in the Shirdi- Ahmednagar belt.
I had interacted with a few carriers and the reason they choose the ACE over the Maxximo is the front suspension setup. The ACE offers leaf springs whereas the Maxximo has a wishbone type setup (If I am not mistaken). The latter cannot be overloaded and has a tendency to sag. No overloading == less profit in the commercial vehicle segment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silverado View Post
Mr Girish wagh was the project manager for Ace.
For 17bhp and 2 cylinder engine the vehicle does really well.
Agreed. IIRC, the engine is developed from the 4-Cylinder Indica diesel engine. Often referred to as "Half Indica engine".
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Old 14th June 2012, 11:04   #15
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Default Re: Tata Ace - The Magic in the Indian CV Industry

Thanks for this wonderful thread, Ashley2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
...Think about new segment creator and leader, when you cross the cute little ACE the next time....
It is truly a new segment creator/leader. Hats off to the team that came up with and eventually delivered this product idea .

Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
...BTW are they on perpetual high-beam or is it that their low-beam bulb itself is so powerful to blind ?
I have seriously analysed this a lot whenever an ACE crosses me :-)
Surprise, surprise...they are mostly on low beam. I think TATA has put in 90/100W bulbs factory fitted. The ones with the Autopal reflectors have a beautifully (!) bright beam. From the ride height of a standard car (the Alto is my reference), the low beam itself will hit you high...I dont know if it is a factory setting or if it is adjusted by the drivers, the low beam is focussed a bit high. So, if you are in a car, this will make you feel that the ACE is on high beam.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
How do they load/unload such luggage !

Last edited by Blue Thunder : 14th June 2012 at 11:08.
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