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Old 17th August 2012, 11:53   #46
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Default Re: Ratan Tata praises rival Mahindra, rues Tata Motors' sales

I had said it before too. Mr Tata doesn't have a team that can support his vision or simply his plans.
He needs to get someone more competent in design and technical aspects from abroad. One thing Mahindra got right was in the design and looks department. They still have a lot of niggles.
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Old 17th August 2012, 14:12   #47
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Default Re: Ratan Tata praises rival Mahindra, rues Tata Motors' sales

Kudos to Mr Tata for being honest and brutally frank. The cure need recognition of the disease first. He has done that now the challenge will be on Slym to deliver.

Let us look at the positives of Tata - first true Indian car, brilliant tiny car which shook up the market, and buyint JLR when everybody thought he was throwing good money after a hopeless case. The biggest blunder, going for an Auto Plant in Bengal.

Last edited by GTO : 20th August 2012 at 14:05. Reason: Last sentence can be construed as a racial comment. Hence, removing. Thanks
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Old 17th August 2012, 17:35   #48
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Default Re: Ratan Tata praises rival Mahindra, rues Tata Motors' sales

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Originally Posted by Buffetfan View Post
Well - my wife drives the Innova cause the kids prefer it to her car. My friends wife drives their innova on a regular basis and I know of others who do that too. Let me assure you that all of these are pretty smart, independent and self respecting women.

Off topic - I think we are confusing choice here with self respect here. I am sure neither the economic status of a person or their personal choice of vehicle should be linked with a person's self respect!
Buffetfan and GS300, sorry if I have offended you guys. But speaking of US, lot of soccer-moms drive ugly boxy Volvos there. I think US returnees see Volvos in Innovas. But good to see you guys stick for Toyota brand so vehemently. However, not one word from you guys about Tata cars. Interesting. Anyway, just as you guys and everyone esle is entitled to his or her own opinion, I am entitled to mine and I rate Innova as SHOCKINGLY ugly vehicle for use as a personal car. I mean look around. It looked ugly even in 2006 when it was launched. And now, with so many choices around?
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Old 17th August 2012, 20:38   #49
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Default Re: Ratan Tata praises rival Mahindra, rues Tata Motors' sales

In my opinion a good exterior designed Manza would have done wonders for Tata.

In it current avatar, it does not kindle the desire of buyers. Most of the buyers have bought it for the Fiat engine, space, hopefully low service cost and with a lot of hope that they do not face any major niggles. In fact most of the cars are VFM in their space. But VFM alone does not sell.

Come on TATA give us a car with the "Desire" factor at these prices. Forget about giving the family look for all range of your cars. Design them for people to buy

All said and done, I respect Mr.Tata for whatever he has achieved.

Last edited by pugram : 17th August 2012 at 20:39. Reason: Added the last line
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Old 17th August 2012, 23:08   #50
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Default Re: Ratan Tata praises rival Mahindra, rues Tata Motors' sales

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Originally Posted by pgsagar View Post
Buffetfan and GS300, sorry if I have offended you guys. But speaking of US, lot of soccer-moms drive ugly boxy Volvos there. I think US returnees see Volvos in Innovas. But good to see you guys stick for Toyota brand so vehemently. However, not one word from you guys about Tata cars. Interesting. Anyway, just as you guys and everyone esle is entitled to his or her own opinion, I am entitled to mine and I rate Innova as SHOCKINGLY ugly vehicle for use as a personal car. I mean look around. It looked ugly even in 2006 when it was launched. And now, with so many choices around?
No offense taken, buddy. No one would claim Innova to be good looking anyways. As for Tata, I am a bit confused. If you look at their sales, dont they sell good numbers, at least for some of the models? So are they really failure?
I personally wouldnt buy any Tata at least in the foreseeable future. I have two examples in front of me - my dad, who had bought a used Indica a few years back, and my colleague who bought a brand new Vista 3 years back. In both cases, the cars spent more time in the service center than on road!

Coming back to Innova, there is an interesting point. I know it has zero image, and it is not well spec-ed. But if you want a reliable 7 seater, which gives you good ride comfort for long drives, and one that you can drive to office, I really cannot find an alternative. Somehow I cannot get myself to buy Mahindra - maybe it is the 'Tata effect' :-) on how Indian manufacturers are perceived.
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Old 18th August 2012, 00:37   #51
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Default Re: Ratan Tata praises rival Mahindra, rues Tata Motors' sales

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Originally Posted by dipen View Post

Nano
  • The concept is brilliant but the product is NOT.
  • I know of some many C and D segment owners who had booked a Nano or 2 during the initial lottery system. But then after driving one and looking at what the car has to offer, most passed the offer.
With so many products and years into the automotive world - Tata still does not have ONE single POLE position in any segment. It does not seem to gain one in the near future either.
Why do you think Nano is not a good product?
Being a owner since last 1.5 years i can vouch for its reliability and feel it offers lot of VFM for the buck you pay.

TML has been in car business only since 1998.

What were C & D segment owners expecting from Nano? i hope they were keeping the pricetag in perspective.

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Originally Posted by pgsagar View Post
[/list]I agree with almost everything you said about Tata cars. But women driving Innova? Innova screams airport taxi from every angle. It is the ugliest people mover there is. Even owners driving it appear like drivers. XUV 500 looks lightyears ahead of innova. I don't think any self-respecting woman would touch this taxi with even a barge pole.
Totally disagree with you, Innova does not scream airport taxi at all.
We had one in family and my cousin sister used to do long distance drives.

It might be ugly to your eyes, but its still the preferred/best selling vehicle in its segment.
Look at XUV from behind and one can definately say its Ugly, rest its a mixed bag.

Innova is not ugly to an extent that women would not like being seen driving one.

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Originally Posted by srishiva View Post
I had said it before too. Mr Tata doesn't have a team that can support his vision or simply his plans.
Disagree, Tata definately has a brilliant team on board.

Last edited by silverado : 18th August 2012 at 00:45.
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Old 18th August 2012, 01:32   #52
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Default Re: Ratan Tata praises rival Mahindra, rues Tata Motors' sales

In my opinion, Tata have been arrogant, slow to respond to customer feedback and complacent over the years when it comes to selling to the average indian consumer. The indian customer is not a taxi driver and when presented with so many options today, he won't even consider your car given the taxi-cab perception that is prevalent of Tata.

In addition to getting the niggles worked on, Tata really needs to distance their offerings from the taxi segment and take the average indian car buyer seriously. I find it silly to see them struggle like this. With all their years of experience and recent acquisitions, can't they leverage at least some of that design and development expertise?

With their current strategies not working, it's time to change direction. I'm sure they can at least come up with a list of problem areas to address. Hell, I can come up with one now.

A few ideas I can think of are:

1. Extend the plushness and features from the Manza to the Vista. Why are you treating it like an Indica taxi? You have a well sized hatch with lots of room. Are you so incapable of sprucing it up, bringing it up to today's standards and selling it to the customer?

2. Re-work on the Safari and come out with something better than the Storme. It looks like a Safari with a Moustache. Was that really the best you could come up with to replace a successful product like the Safari? You think people will simply buy any ugly thing from you because of your name? Who do you think you are? Toyota? You've just killed the USP of your product with an abomination like the Storme. At least change the grill for crying out loud.

3. Seperate servicing of the taxi segment from regular car buyers. If there's anything that maruti has proven, it's that besides trouble free ownership, the indian car buyer places huge importance on after-sales service. Leverage your presence and take cognizance of the fact that you cater to a significant portion of the commercial vehicle segment. Seperate your operations wherever possible and offer a proper service experience to non-commercial end users. No customer wants to be treated like a cab driver when going for service.

4. Re-look at your entire product portfolio and design cars with a little flair. What has the XUV 500 proved to you? You think people are buying it for it's reliability? In my opinion, with the competition today, looks are even more important. You simply cannot ignore them anymore. If your design team is incapable of coming up with something new, fire the uninspiring top management responsible and outsource design. How much does it cost to consult with an external design team? Isn't the one time effort, money well spent? Lose the crazy-eyed headlamps on the Vista/Manza, take some inspiration from the Polo/Punto, take another look at that ugly and over-heightened Manza rear.

5. Start focusing on your entire product portfolio. The nano is not your only car. Pay attention to your entire (currently mediocre) product range and more importantly, your design philosophy and quality control.

In my opinion, Tata has lost a lot of ground to the competition and will have to work really hard to re-gain the indian car buyer's trust. I'm not reacting specifically to Mr. Tata's statement but rather to the issues that have been in plaguing Tata products from a long time.

Last edited by sydras : 18th August 2012 at 01:37.
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Old 18th August 2012, 02:27   #53
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Default Re: Ratan Tata praises rival Mahindra, rues Tata Motors' sales

Tata has had a steady shift away from the UVs to hatchbacks and sedans. Only, it has not been as successful a shift as Bajaj's from scooters to bikes, nor as conscious. They need to get their priorities right. Either give up on UV segment to focus on the lower segments, or revamp their UV offerings entirely. Can't see them giving up on UVs, so how about trying to explore uncharted waters in the SUV segment. Most look for style, space and comfort in this class. Somehow, this has not been fully exploited in the lower rungs of the SUV kingdom. Adopt the monocoque structures with lighter, more efficient and better handling capabilities (the soft-roaders/ MPVs/ compact SUVs) @ 6-15 lakhs! Ditch all but one of the ladder frame chassis to cater to the rural markets where ruggedness and stress-durability would be better appreciated. Retain one ladder frame chassis based model for that (Sumo!). Get the Manza CS (1.3 VGT) rolling out as well. Tata's been moving slowly for sometime now, but if it wakes up, it'll find that it still has the ability to take the fight to its rivals!
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Old 18th August 2012, 19:58   #54
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Exclamation Re: Ratan Tata praises rival Mahindra, rues Tata Motors' sales

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Originally Posted by sydras View Post
In my opinion, Tata have been arrogant, slow to respond to customer feedback and complacent over the years when it comes to selling to the average indian consumer. The indian customer is not a taxi driver and when presented with so many options today, he won't even consider your car given the taxi-cab perception that is prevalent of Tata.

In addition to getting the niggles worked on, Tata really needs to distance their offerings from the taxi segment and take the average indian car buyer seriously.
Completely agree. And Sydras is spot on. The average Indian consumer is ASPIRATIONAL. They have anywhere between 3-7 lakhs to spend and besides VFM want to make a statement that they have "arrived".
Mr. Tata needs to recognize that the average Indian customer is not only the wet, bedraggled two-wheeler owner who wants to swap his Bajaj for a Nano! It goes way beyond that.

Brand image is important. Tata has lost it. Long way to go Mr. Tata - wish your successor all the luck.
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Old 18th August 2012, 23:13   #55
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Default Re: Ratan Tata praises rival Mahindra, rues Tata Motors' sales

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Totally disagree with you, Innova does not scream airport taxi at all.
We had one in family and my cousin sister used to do long distance drives.

It might be ugly to your eyes, but its still the preferred/best selling vehicle in its segment.
Look at XUV from behind and one can definately say its Ugly, rest its a mixed bag.

Innova is not ugly to an extent that women would not like being seen driving one.
If Innova doesn't scream taxi then Indica doesn't scream taxi either. Because both these cars are extensively used as taxis. If you say there are lot of private Innova users then I would say there are lot of private Indica users as well. In fact I see more Innova taxis than Indica taxis. So why brand Indica as taxi and spare Innova? We cannot apply two different yardsticks here. Right?

You find XUV ugly but not Innova? Well what can I say? And couple of ladies driving any particular car doesn't prove anything. Lot of ladies also drive Indica. Would that mean Indica is an excellent car?
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Old 19th August 2012, 01:49   #56
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Default Re: Ratan Tata praises rival Mahindra, rues Tata Motors' sales

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Originally Posted by pgsagar View Post
If Innova doesn't scream taxi then Indica doesn't scream taxi either. Because both these cars are extensively used as taxis. If you say there are lot of private Innova users then I would say there are lot of private Indica users as well. In fact I see more Innova taxis than Indica taxis. So why brand Indica as taxi and spare Innova? We cannot apply two different yardsticks here. Right?

You find XUV ugly but not Innova? Well what can I say? And couple of ladies driving any particular car doesn't prove anything. Lot of ladies also drive Indica. Would that mean Indica is an excellent car?
Well buddy - Mercs are used as taxis in a lot of European nations. It does not mean that I start comparing the Innova to the Merc.


Indica and Innova are two different class of vehicles - one has constantly LAGGED the competition even after being the CHEAPEST to buy and another that has constantly BEATEN the competition even after being the MOST EXPENSIVE to purchase in its class.

Finally, we can compare any two vehicles, but the most usable comparison is one that compares two vehicles in the same category. Simply because it helps the likely buyers make a choice.
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Old 19th August 2012, 09:00   #57
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Default Re: Ratan Tata praises rival Mahindra, rues Tata Motors' sales

Kudos to Mr. Ratan Tata for chiding his men; but it has come too late.
Reputation is hard to gain, but once lost is much too harder to regain.
The TATA badge imbibes arrogance amongst its employees and that is the number one reason for their failure.
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Old 19th August 2012, 09:28   #58
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Originally Posted by KL01BE
It requires a big heart to praise the competition and an even bigger one to admit your follies. Mahindras always had the strategy of tying up with foreign brands and importing technology. Be it engines or plant machinery. Renault Logan and mHawk engines, I believe are the more known ones.

Where in Tatas have concentrated thus far in developing own engines. This has resulted in a sizable difference in the quality of the products.

The recent acquisitions of foreign brands will hopefully add to the quality of products offered from Tata.
No. Mahindra has been making engines in-house rather than importing like others. In fact where Mahindra scores better than Tata is in do-it-yourself attitude. This is seen in the Scorpio project, W201 and m-Hawk project. Tata's prowess is manufacturing, and Mahindra's is product development. M-Hawk is NOT IMPORTED. It is designed by Mahindra in consultation with AVL, Austria.
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Old 21st August 2012, 01:56   #59
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Default Re: Ratan Tata praises rival Mahindra, rues Tata Motors' sales

At least Mr. Tata has acknowledged that they are getting their butts whipped by Mahindra in terms of numbers. That's a good place to start. However, I feel that the problem is not with the shoddy execution of Tata's dreams alone, but with the 'dreams' themselves.

I've been told that Mr. Tata has the final say in every design that Tata Motors makes. If so, he is responsible for the 'controversial' (if not downright ugly) Aria, the outdated styled Nano (when the more modern looking Nano Europa was already penned), and also directly responsible for the visual similarity between the Indica, the Vista, and the Aria. The Indica had a well established taxi image, and a similarly well established unreliability image when the Vista was being conceptualized, so why oh why did he choose to make the all-new platform look similar? Common sense would dictate that the new car separate itself as much from the tainted product as possible, to assure the buyers that 'No, this is not your regular taxi!' And then the Manza, which is a fine product, but cursed with a really horrible boxy rear-end, that does not do justice to the curvy front.

Let's not even get started on the quality front. Quality means different things for different people. Some are unreasonable, others think 'chalta hai'. Now, I don't expect soft-touch plastic or tactile feedback at a dirt-cheap price, but I do expect to not cut my hand on the rough edges of the dash, or to have to use a razor blade to trim the excess burr from rubber and plastic parts!

As I was performing the activity described above on the mirror adjustment stalks on our Indigo, I remember thinking, what does it say about a man when he is willing to put his name on a product that is this shabbily built?

Perhaps, what Tata Motors really needs is some young, fresh blood in the form of a replacement for Mr. Tata. He did an okay job so far, but he has not built a brand. He has built a relic, from the days of the Raj, when quality was an accident, and all that mattered was maximum product for the minimum money. Perhaps, Mr. Tata is too used to the 'chalta hai' attitude, and cutting corners when it comes to quality.

Maybe, his successor will follow Mahindra's example and build products that work like they're supposed to, and then refine them. If one man can conceive a one-lakh car, then it shouldn't be that hard to build a two-lakh car that people actually want to own.

P.S: I am not a Tata basher. My own record on this forum should be enough to prove that. In fact, I own an Indigo, and it is a good car, but not a great one. What I am not is a fanboy. If you feel that I'm being too hard on Mr. Tata, please, do correct me. Make a worthy argument and I will gladly admit to being wrong.
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Old 21st August 2012, 16:02   #60
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Default Re: Ratan Tata praises rival Mahindra, rues Tata Motors' sales

Tatas Motors bring about very extreme reactions. You either like them or hate them and its difficult to convince yourself otherwise once you have a position.

I was never supposed to buy a Tata in my life but I did buy the Aria. I just thought it was good value for money compared to the Innova with many more features.

A simple highway run in an Innova and an Aria differentiated for me - The amount of road noise in the Innova was brain numbing.

Comparisons apart most of my peer group have a very negative view on the vehicles coming out of the Tata stable and most rarely ever buy a Tata or sit in one other than maybe the really badly maintained Indicabs. We all like the light or no steering feel of our Jap marutis.

I can literally see perceptions change, once they sit in my Aria, they are flummoxed as to wow is this a Tata car. Unfortunately, Arias are selling at all :-) but positively helping to keep mine exclusive.

They have come a long way and still have a long road ahead.
Its their choice whether they want to push ahead and do better, and I hope for competition sake they do manage to get better.

I would love to get an automatic nano with power steering for my wifey. Hell who would not want to have that, keeping aside the class issues.

I am sure the Tata Motors gang understands this and Ratan was expressing his frustrations. Its just how to get going seems still to be in the drawing block.

Cheers
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