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Old 8th August 2013, 13:40   #151
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Default Re: Ideas for the next Tata Car (Ideator)

A complete new true family hatchback & a true sedan. Why is it that hard to understand for Tata? Any new car from the Tata stable should not be a guessing game for the onlookers that whether its an Indica or vista or Indigo or Manza or whatever.
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Old 8th August 2013, 16:31   #152
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Default Re: Ideas for the next Tata Car (Ideator)

For me the key problem with Tata cars is their looks. It looks a bit cheap when compared to the others in the segment.
Whether it's a 3 lakh car or a 10 lakh one, it must look at least as 'rich' as the others in the segment. I'm not sure what does it, a higher quality paint perhaps?

The overall looks of the car are below average as well. It doesn't even compete with the Hyundais, Fords or Hondas. Even the Maruti looks better, I'd say.
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Old 8th August 2013, 18:18   #153
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Default Re: Ideas for the next Tata Car (Ideator)

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
A complete new true family hatchback & a true sedan. Why is it that hard to understand for Tata? Any new car from the Tata stable should not be a guessing game for the onlookers that whether its an Indica or vista or Indigo or Manza or whatever.
Agreed with you Saket. They need a whole new range of sedans and also must throw the Indica and Indigo names to junkyard. Indians require these to accept Tata:

Change the stupid nomenclature
New car range
Improve quality
Improve the ASS, even recently a guy in a Tata showroom in Vellore had a fight.
Bring in more powerful engines and borrow the 1.6 MJD from Fiat.
Maybe even Tata would require to bring in a new brand. But they first disguise that they are the owners
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Old 8th August 2013, 21:56   #154
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Default Re: Ideas for the next Tata Car (Ideator)

Hope I am not too late. With more details on technical aspects shared here, let me take the marketing perspective. These are macro level marketing refreshments which should go into the DNA of senior level executives

Product position: This is very essential for a product to sell itself when it is in market. There should be clear demarcation where itís positioned - internally with its own cousins as well as with major competition models. This exercise is all about product features and pricing and should complement the positioning of the product. Not to mention about the Tata brand value which is also important factor in product positioning.

If this was done perfectly Aria would have not suffered this much loss in sales. Itís a new product segment which compliments with the fact that Tata is a long time UV makers. Even with this long heritage, sales didnít inch forward simply for the fact the brand value of Tata didnít match with the price expectation.

Similarly Sumo Victa Ė why to position it as a full size SUV. It should ideally be a urban people carrier and all the advertisements should be based on this theme. Just because we need to position this as a macho vehicle we canít go beyond the reality, which is still continued.

Market understanding: Tata though is more than decade old in passenger car segment, but it still has lot of its gene from the CV segment. You have two engines with four ratings, 2 gearboxes, 2 axles and you are done. You have minimum 10 to 15 variants in platform level and another 5 to 10 in terms of fully built. This is what today its CV line is made off.

Today its doing the same in passenger cars also. I agree for the fact that powertrain can be common with minimum variations, but still the platform should differentiate itself.

There should be minimum variants catering to the segment where it suits best. Not try to market the same product to all the application where ever possible.
A single product like Indica need not be sold as a taxi, as well as a private car. Due to this multiple application, customer himself will be confused to what it suits the Best.
I can still say, this confusion is still on. Strip down Indica, position it as a 100% taxi car and give a strong competition to others in terms of product pricing and agreeable durability. But donít confuse it with again a private car, with reduced features, limited fit and finish so that it communicates a wrong message to private car owner that Tataís capability is limited.
Have a multi fold approach even for taxt segment like in CV space like City Ride Ė Starbus Ė Ultra is clear differentiation in LCV/ ICV buses.
Sumo which was doing good was sold as a Spacio with 497 engine to suit some urban market with cheaper price. Though these are minor engineering changes and we can roll out new models in a faster manner, it puts lots of stress on your product development so that many issues in the current car goes unnoticed / unresolved / carried over.

Product lifecycle: When you plan for a new car, plan for a date when its going to be refreshed / phase lift / phase out. Do not wait for any natural death of the car and inviting criticism on them. Sumo, Safari, Indica are there for ages and to be looked accordingly to reposition or phase out.

Launch at first time right: Indica Vista has become Vista, Sumo Grande has become Grande and subsequently Grande MarkII. With this name change what we intent to communicate to market? We donít know. Market will never give second choice and so launch at first time right is very crucial.
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Old 8th August 2013, 22:30   #155
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Default Re: Ideas for the next Tata Car (Ideator)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
I agree for the fact that powertrain can be common with minimum variations, but still the platform should differentiate itself.
I think having small number of platforms and engines, spanning a wide variety of products is a necessity. Tata branded cars/UVs are in the low margin in nature, thus reducing both development and manufacturing cost of the products is very very important.

But I agree, that unlike the all pervading Indica platform, various products should be distinguishable to the customer. You dont want the 9L sedan to be tagged with a hatchback half its price, even though underneath they may share a platform, components or even basic engine specs.

It has definitely been done before, like the Punto and Linea being the same underneat but looking completely different outside. Or even by JLR, where the previous gen RR Sport and Discovery shared platforms, or the XK and the XF.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
Product lifecycle: When you plan for a new car, plan for a date when its going to be refreshed / phase lift / phase out. Do not wait for any natural death of the car and inviting criticism on them. Sumo, Safari, Indica are there for ages and to be looked accordingly to reposition or phase out.
Completely agree over here. TML and its ERC division has to start doing a lot more work especially when they have to compete with companies which are operating all over the world. I agree the ERC has a tough job, having to design everything from the Ace, Tata Ultra LCV/ICV, Tata Prima, Nano, Indica, Safari etc. But still that cant be an excuse. In recent years they seem to have done pretty decently in the CV segment with the Ultra and Prima range, but on the passenger car side they seem to have slacked off very badly. The only two recent products from the passenger car side which were OK were the Nano and the Aria. Both of these were great products by themselves, but their integration into the marketplace has been very bad. And developing a great product which not many people want to buy is rather pointless.

Tata need to be putting a lot more resources and time into R&D and develop a proper long term strategy regarding its R&D processes.
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Old 9th August 2013, 01:20   #156
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Question Next Tata car?

I not sure if this is the right thread for this post @Mods, please move this to the appropriate thread if required.

Tata seem to be making some progress on the design of their next new car. It looks like a hatchback that would be positioned between the Nano and the Vista and could possibly replace the aging Indica.

Motorbeam claim to have exclusive renderings of the new car, which they state is very close to the real design, done by Tata Motors' European Technical Centre:

Tata Motors is working on a new hatchback which will sit between the Nano and Vista in the company’s lineup. The automaker hasn’t revealed many details of this upcoming hatchback which is codenamed X0 (zero and not O) and also referred to as Dolphin (internally known as X451).

Read more at
http://www.motorbeam.com/cars/tata-m...yXTxfKgZ2AF.99

Ideas for the next Tata Car (Ideator)-image.jpg

Image and short text credits: Motorbeam

I guess Tata will try to implement the suggestions invited from GrammarNazi and others into their future line-up starting with this car.

Last edited by RSR : 9th August 2013 at 01:23.
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Old 9th August 2013, 02:12   #157
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Default Re: Ideas for the next Tata Car (Ideator)

Hi GRAMMERNAZI
Congratulations!!This is a chance of a lifetime so live it up..
Here is what I would like to see from TATA MOTORS.
1) Like all have said improve QC,After Sales, get rid of taxi image etc etc.

2) BUILD A AFFORDABLE HYBRID VEHICLE.
a).Normal petrol or diesel engine up front driving front wheels.
b).Battery pack and electric motor in rear wheels.
c).NO ELECTRONICS FOR OF POWER SHARING ETC. STRAIGHT FORWARD ELECTRICALS TO
MAKE TROUBLE SHOOTING IS EASY
d).Simple selector switch on dashboard to select following modes
1)Engine driving,
2)electric motor driving,
3)Both driving,
4)Both driving with regenerative braking.
e).Air conditioner compressor can be selected from engine drive or electric motor drive by a
selector on dashboard.(So we have the option of driving with A/C on electric mode and
propulsion in engine mode hence saving fuel in stop start and speed up traffic)
f).The car is to be with high ground clearance but not like a SUV more like Skoda Fabia
Scout. Hatch back with high ground clearance.
g).The battery electric motor to be completely sealed from water and dust ingress.
h).Place the electicals like alternator, fuse boxes high in engine compartment again to avoid
water ingress if water wading. (Water wading should be top priority as our roads flood up
very easily in monsoons.)
i). Company to specify and mark water wading depth and also provide a simple non electronic
measuring device, like a stick with markings, so the person can check easily height of
standing.
j). Car can be easily upgradeble e.g. I buy the base petrol version, few years later I should
be able to fit electric drive for A/C or fit the complete electric system.
Or in another case go in for a upgrade with new battery or buy say 2 battery packs today
and get a range of x km, later buy few more battery packs later and extend my range.

Advantages.

1) In case of a problem complete system isolation possible.
2) Redundancy. If engine breaks down motor can get you home.
3) Some what off road capability with four driven wheels to get out of sticky situations.

Cheers

Last edited by norhog : 9th August 2013 at 02:20.
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Old 9th August 2013, 03:04   #158
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Default Re: Ideas for the next Tata Car (Ideator)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dozer View Post
For me the key problem with Tata cars is their looks. It looks a bit cheap when compared to the others in the segment.
Whether it's a 3 lakh car or a 10 lakh one, it must look at least as 'rich' as the others in the segment. I'm not sure what does it, a higher quality paint perhaps?
I guess, their time to market is a problem.
They have nice ideas, and the right mindset.
However, by the time they execute, and bring a car into mass sale, the competition has already gone far ahead of them

I remember seeing the Indica fresh, probably during the 1998 times. It was an IDEA design which looked stunning. But, by the time we saw them on the roads, it was such a common sight that the charm was gone.
And they still haven't come out of the same basic design, 15 years from then.

I guess, the same is going to happen with the Pixel as well. It was a stunning concept, nailing the Indian Car situation. However, they do not have the right mindset to bring it over soon. It might take another 5 years before the concept becomes a reality, by when there is competition, and we have all been seeing the pixel, and have gotten bored.

Tata always plans to mass produce anything, with very low margins. I suggest, they bring on better designs albeit at a premium. India does not by cheap anymore
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Old 13th August 2013, 18:18   #159
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UPDATE: The meet with Karl Slym is supposedly slated on 26th August. First they had said that Day 1 will be the Factory visit, and Day 2 will be the meet. But anyway, whatever it is, they'll clarify soon.

I'm going to try & add the suggestions upto 20th, both from here as well as those that I get by E-Mail
(tata.ideator@gmail.com). Also, I'm prolly gonna pass over the E-Mail Password to them for any future suggestions.

Last edited by GrammarNazi : 13th August 2013 at 18:23.
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Old 24th August 2013, 00:26   #160
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Hey everyone! So, leaving on Sunday morning, the itinerary is :
Ideas for the next Tata Car (Ideator)-image704046447.jpg

Last edited by GrammarNazi : 24th August 2013 at 00:35.
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Old 24th August 2013, 07:22   #161
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Default Re: Ideas for the next Tata Car (Ideator)

@GN, so finally ..

looks like you are not going to get much time with Karl Sym. Any plans of putting together all your points on a paper & handing it over to him personally, directly ?
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Old 24th August 2013, 08:38   #162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
@GN, so finally ..

looks like you are not going to get much time with Karl Slym. Any plans of putting together all your points on a paper & handing it over to him personally, directly ?
Yep realised that, I'll just hand him over the file, tell him about the thread and hope that down the line they take note of a few things. Apart from that, it'll be a good end to a Long week for me too.

Rgds
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Old 24th August 2013, 08:46   #163
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Default Re: Ideas for the next Tata Car (Ideator)

GN, do you think it would help to keep the hand-out short & sweet ? Something structured that it gives him the main points, and then allows him to go deeper as required ?
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Old 24th August 2013, 09:07   #164
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Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
GN, do you think it would help to keep the hand-out short & sweet ? Something structured that it gives him the main points, and then allows him to go deeper as required ?
That's what I've done. Ive made a file summarising all the ideas/opinions in ~5-6 pages, followed by a 10page of detailed suggestions.

Overall, one thing the 'Report' reflects is how much we all feel for them & want TATA's to come back into the game & win the markets over.
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Old 24th August 2013, 09:53   #165
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Default Re: Ideas for the next Tata Car (Ideator)

@GrammarNazi; also try to understand Karl's point of view (of course if he offers) so as why they are not introducing new models and what are their bottlenecks. Though less likely that he will comeout with this himself, but may me if you get a chance to ask him indirectly on this issue.

Wish you luck!
Saket
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