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Old 18th March 2015, 15:28   #1
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Default Tata Motors to supply 4000 buses to state transport authorities

Tata Motors, India's largest commercial vehicle manufacturer, has received an order to supply more than four thousand buses from state transport authorities. This order is a part of the second phase of the union government's national urban renewal mission.

The company has already started deliveries of these vehicles. The deliveries will flow into the next fiscal as well. Tata Motors is also finalising an order for 30 hybrid buses, placed by the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC). The company's step to supply hybrid buses will be a first in the country.

Tata Motors' commercial vehicle sales have been pulled down by slow economic growth. These orders, which have been placed over the last six months, should help the company in scripting a turnaround.

Source: ET Auto
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Old 18th March 2015, 15:42   #2
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Default Re: Tata Motors to supply 4000 buses to state transport authorities

Good news for Tatas

Slight OT, why in the JNNURM - only Tata and Ashok Leyland are participating? None of the other bus manufacturing company is interested in such sales?
I have a friend in DTC who says the automatic buses (Red & Green both) are required to be repaired by the vendor as part of the operational arrangement and buses from both suppliers are not doing well in terms of reliability (far too many failures against the representation made by suppliers at the time of bidding).

Can this not be a signal for other players to consider participation in large scale fleet supplies?

Cheers

Last edited by i74js : 18th March 2015 at 15:47.
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Old 18th March 2015, 18:14   #3
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Default Re: Tata Motors to supply 4000 buses to state transport authorities

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Originally Posted by i74js View Post
Good news for Tatas

Slight OT, why in the JNNURM - only Tata and Ashok Leyland are participating? None of the other bus manufacturing company is interested in such sales?

Can this not be a signal for other players to consider participation in large scale fleet supplies?

Cheers
Under JNNURM, I see Volvo buses running in Navi Mumbai and Bangalore as well. Not sure about other states.
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Old 18th March 2015, 18:56   #4
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Default Re: Tata Motors to supply 4000 buses to state transport authorities

Bad news. Most of the Marcopolo buses offered by Tata to BMTC are bedridden for long. Ones which ply on road are notorious for breakdowns. Not to mention the poor FE and under powered grunting noisy engines.
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Old 18th March 2015, 19:40   #5
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Default Re: Tata Motors to supply 4000 buses to state transport authorities

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Originally Posted by Thilak29 View Post
Bad news. Most of the Marcopolo buses offered by Tata to BMTC are bedridden for long. Ones which ply on road are notorious for breakdowns. Not to mention the poor FE and under powered grunting noisy engines.
I dont think it has anything to do with the Tatas. Remember, these buses have not been designed for this sole purpose (supply to the state transportation departments under NURM). They are selling otherwise as well and doing pretty well. The problem lies in the way these vehicles are maintained or rather not maintained at all. Any vehicle that clocks kms the way the city buses do and get no maintenance they will simply conk off within a year.

I have seen the same state of the many of the Volvos that run as a part of airport to city bus services. They are falling into pieces. The ACs make huge noise but barely cool. Everything rattles, the exhausts belch smoke like there is no tomorrow. And yet Volvos are actually very reliable and all the private operators run Volvos in prim condition for100s of 1000s of miles every year as interstate luxury transport.

The maintenance has to get better really if these vehicles have to have some semblance of life.
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Old 18th March 2015, 20:20   #6
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Default Re: Tata Motors to supply 4000 buses to state transport authorities

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Originally Posted by Thilak29 View Post
Bad news. Most of the Marcopolo buses offered by Tata to BMTC are bedridden for long. Ones which ply on road are notorious for breakdowns. Not to mention the poor FE and under powered grunting noisy engines.
+1

BMTC also tried running them as non a/c with the doors kept open dont know how far that worked. I hardly see any of the Marcopolos with BMTC badge now. But they seem to be doing fine biz with School bus / Non a/c / conventional front engine products.

I had the misfortune of standing behind a Marcopolo at Silk board junction while riding my bike. Was covered in thick blank smoke once the buts started!! Thankfully I dint choke and kick the bucket that day!

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Originally Posted by Zappo View Post
I dont think it has anything to do with the Tatas. Remember, these buses have not been designed for this sole purpose (supply to the state transportation departments under NURM). They are selling otherwise as well and doing pretty well. The problem lies in the way these vehicles are maintained or rather not maintained at all. Any vehicle that clocks kms the way the city buses do and get no maintenance they will simply conk off within a year.

I have seen the same state of the many of the Volvos that run as a part of airport to city bus services. They are falling into pieces. The ACs make huge noise but barely cool. Everything rattles, the exhausts belch smoke like there is no tomorrow. And yet Volvos are actually very reliable and all the private operators run Volvos in prim condition for100s of 1000s of miles every year as interstate luxury transport.

The maintenance has to get better really if these vehicles have to have some semblance of life.
But the Volvos are subjected to the same torture by these drivers! How do they manage hold up better ? Is the maintenance different for them ? I know the Volvos cost 4~5 times more, but Marcopolos seemed very battered in very short time.

Last edited by anand.shankar : 18th March 2015 at 20:22.
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Old 20th March 2015, 21:57   #7
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Default Re: Tata Motors to supply 4000 buses to state transport authorities

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Originally Posted by anand.shankar View Post
But the Volvos are subjected to the same torture by these drivers! How do they manage hold up better ? Is the maintenance different for them ? I know the Volvos cost 4~5 times more, but Marcopolos seemed very battered in very short time.
The Volvos have amazing ruggedness and are highly reliable. The maintenance of BMTC Volvos are done by Volvo technicians itself, either at their facility in Hoskote or in the Central Workshop of BMTC, based on the requirements of the bus in question. BMTC engineers inspect the overall servicing, to test runs and only then they're deployed.
On the other hand, the Marcopolos, being jointly developed/manufactured by TATA are extremely fragile and disappointing. What I can tell you is, no one at BMTC is happy with the Marcopolos and they're being phased out with time.
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Old 22nd March 2015, 18:08   #8
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Default Re: Tata Motors to supply 4000 buses to state transport authorities

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zappo View Post
I dont think it has anything to do with the Tatas. Remember, these buses have not been designed for this sole purpose (supply to the state transportation departments under NURM). They are selling otherwise as well and doing pretty well. The problem lies in the way these vehicles are maintained or rather not maintained at all. Any vehicle that clocks kms the way the city buses do and get no maintenance they will simply conk off within a year.
Zappo, let us be little specific. The subject STU here is BMTC which is not so bad or worst as compared to few STU's in south and north. They have very decent setup both for maintenance and operation. They are one of the forward looking STU's in the whole of country (Except DTC in few areas). All requirements were clearly mentioned in tender document and its the responsibility of manufacturer to suggest a product. Agreed that there will be some "If's and but's". But its the responsibility of manufacturer to keep the bus going. In this case Tata was no where in picture to support the buses when issues were going above their head.
Take the case of Corona, their initial products did have issues. But they worked hand in hand to ensure buses are on road. Similarly for the current Skypak also.
Also with Ashokleyland selling handful of Luxura's to APSRTC (in 2011), it was AL behind them to keep them running even though the entire powertrain what they supplied was phased out, sometime later. They ensured the service levels are satisfactory so that the buses are still running in some prime Intercity routes. This is how, service levels of competition is there.
But in this case Tata simply refused(almost) for support, rather technically they were not having solution and so is why BMTC took a decision to scrap them.
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Old 22nd March 2015, 18:45   #9
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Default Re: Tata Motors to supply 4000 buses to state transport authorities

Quote:
Thilak29 : Ones which ply on road are notorious for breakdowns.
Actually, I have seen more Volvo's stranded on Bangalore roads than the Marcopolo's. Or may be the Marcopolo's that you mention did not even make it out of the depot's !! :P

Quote:
anand.shankar : But they seem to be doing fine biz with School bus / Non a/c / conventional front engine products.
The rear-engined Marcopolo's are definitely under-powered. For that matter, even AL was not successful with the rear-engine set up. BMTC had tried AL's rear-engine buses long before the Marcopolo's, but the buses couldnt survive / the trial flopped.
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Originally Posted by Thilak29 View Post
Thilak29 : Not to mention the .. under powered grunting noisy engines.
+1
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Old 22nd March 2015, 19:39   #10
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May I know which model did BMTC try from Ashok Leyland and declared that as a flop?

Last edited by GTO : 23rd March 2015 at 12:41. Reason: Typos. Please proof-read before submitting :)
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Old 22nd March 2015, 20:04   #11
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Default Re: Tata Motors to supply 4000 buses to state transport authorities

The BMTC Volvos breaking down are new issues. Most of them are really really old ones. Tata provided ones broke down very soon after introduction.
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Old 23rd March 2015, 08:11   #12
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Default Re: Tata Motors to supply 4000 buses to state transport authorities

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Originally Posted by condor View Post
Actually, I have seen more Volvo's stranded on Bangalore roads than the Marcopolo's. Or may be the Marcopolo's that you mention did not even make it out of the depot's !! :P
There were just about a hundred Tata Macropolo buses, while the number of Volvo 8400LE buses is over 500, IIRC - but the ratio of number of breakdowns to the number of buses is far higher with the former

Quote:
The rear-engined Marcopolo's are definitely under-powered. For that matter, even AL was not successful with the rear-engine set up. BMTC had tried AL's rear-engine buses long before the Marcopolo's, but the buses couldnt survive / the trial flopped.
BMTC used to have a couple of RE buses from AL and TM. binaiks had posted the pics of the AL bus in these posts here and here. Then there was the AL diesel-hybrid RE ULE bus run by BMTC on a trial, which AFAIK, was conducted by AL rather than BMTC in order to collect user feedback. Not sure which other RE model was tried out by BMTC and rejected.

***

While we are in the topic of TM going to supply 4000 buses, it is worth mentioning that AL's official statement regarding JnNURM orders puts their (AL's) numbers at 3894, which is 60% of the total number of units - now who is to be believed?

Last edited by silversteed : 23rd March 2015 at 08:21.
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Old 23rd March 2015, 08:27   #13
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Default Re: Tata Motors to supply 4000 buses to state transport authorities

You simply have to stand/drive behind one of these "Marco-Polo" buses to understand just how terrible they were. I have travelled inside both Volvo and M-P and the difference is h-u-g-e. From the exterior the M-P was churning out so much black smoke that it was choking everybody. Also the engine was very very, noisy, most probably because it was underpowered.

Now I agree that BMTC in general cares 2 hoots when it comes to maintenance, even Volvos have dinged up panels, leaking a.c ducts & engine failures. But as said above even brand new M-P buses were acting this way. The ride quality of both is poles apart with the Volvo as smooth as a limousine and the Marco-Polo like manual-cranking Fords of 1900's.

Ps: I'm not aware if TATA has improved their quality in the current batch. Like many have already agreed, I'm only talking of their JNURM buses of 5 years ago.
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Old 23rd March 2015, 09:52   #14
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Default Re: Tata Motors to supply 4000 buses to state transport authorities

In UP they got a few MarcoPolos and then tried to duplicate them using the Roadways workshop with disastrous results. I hope better sense prevails.
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Old 23rd March 2015, 19:25   #15
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Default Re: Tata Motors to supply 4000 buses to state transport authorities

Quote:
Originally Posted by dark.knight View Post
You simply have to stand/drive behind one of these "Marco-Polo" buses to understand just how terrible they were.
Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
Or may be the Marcopolo's that you mention did not even make it out of the depot's !! :P
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Originally Posted by barcalad View Post
On the other hand, the Marcopolos, being jointly developed/manufactured by TATA are extremely fragile and disappointing. What I can tell you is, no one at BMTC is happy with the Marcopolos and they're being phased out with time.
If you guys experience the contraptions called Cerita (Kinglong) which BEST has purchased, Marcopolos will feel like heaven Horrible is an understatement for them. Only difference is that they do not belch out black smoke as they run on CNG.
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