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Old 8th June 2013, 01:15   #1
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Default Ideas for the next Tata Car (Ideator)

Hey everyone! I've been given a chance to personally meet the current MD of TATA MOTORS (Mr. Karl Slym) to generally discuss cars & suggest ideas about the next Tata car.

The date & time hasn't yet been given to me, but I'm guessing its gonna be sometime at the end of this month.

Looking for suggestions as to what Tata Motors can do to improve their cars in future...



(Mods : Posted here thinking its the appropriate section, do shift if felt required, Rgds.)
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Old 8th June 2013, 01:32   #2
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Default Re: Ideas for the next Tata Car (Ideator)

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Originally Posted by GrammarNazi View Post
Hey everyone! I've been given a chance to personally meet the current MD of TATA MOTORS (Mr. Karl Slym) to generally discuss cars & suggest ideas about the next Tata car.

The date & time hasn't yet been given to me, but I'm guessing its gonna be sometime at the end of this month.

Looking for suggestions as to what Tata Motors can do to improve their cars in future...



(Mods : Posted here thinking its the appropriate section, do shift if felt required, Rgds.)
Are you allowed to take friends with you ?
A sleek sedan! Something that can compete against the likes of Verna/City With a much more capable engine than the 1.4 Petrol. Maybe a Turbo charged petrol with fully independent suspension, Price the car between 7-9L
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Old 8th June 2013, 01:38   #3
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Default Re: Ideas for the next Tata Car (Ideator)

Well, first of all, tell him to keep a strong eye on QC, It's like an irreparable brand recall they have.(unreliable/shortlife)
Just QC will not pull customers, they have to make people desire for a product,after enough sales are made, people will appreciate the new found reliability and word will spread.
Take care of the UV sector. Bring something to fight the Bolero head on and the present Storme should have come five years ago. It's a new body more than a new platform that the Safari begs for.
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Old 8th June 2013, 02:04   #4
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Haha, first question came to my mind was the same - can you take friends along ?

Tata's cars don't sell in as big numbers as maruti, and my memory is too poor to quote monthly model-wise sales figures off the bat, but they do sell more than Toyota , Ford , Fiat respective models, barring a star model or two like the Innova or Duster.

What Tata's cars lack are aesthethics and premium feel, besides whatever quality/niggles they have , but the taxi image might be a bigger stumbling block.
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Old 8th June 2013, 02:16   #5
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Default Re: Ideas for the next Tata Car (Ideator)

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Originally Posted by GrammarNazi View Post
generally discuss cars & suggest ideas about the next Tata car.
Ask him where this Prima concept went? Why design an all new car from grounds up again when they wasted one good concept that most people liked!

I thought they had a futuristic model in their hands - on that could have held its head high against modern competiton - much better than the current Indigo Manza (which came later on!) managed to. And that segment is one of the hottest segments in the market these days!

EDIT after reading the above post: This is one car which could have helped them destroy the Taxi image! I mean, just look at it - its a beauty IMO.

Ideas for the next Tata Car (Ideator)-tata_prima.jpg   <div style=

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 8th June 2013 at 02:18.
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Old 8th June 2013, 02:22   #6
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Default Re: Ideas for the next Tata Car (Ideator)

The car should be simple, reliable and good looking, with excellent ride quality, so that potholed filled roads in india can be dismissed with ease. Tata's have been in India for such a long time and they still cannot understand how to create a good suspension. This is important, a criteria many people will start looking forward to.
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Old 8th June 2013, 02:28   #7
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Firstly I would like to congratulate GrammarNazi for getting a chance to meet Mr.Slym.
1). TaMo(Tata Motors) should firstly and religiously improve the QC of their vehicles. Having owned a Tata Indica in the past and a Tata Nano presently, I have first hand experienced the niggles of TaMo cars. Luckily in my case the mechanicals have not given us many troubles but tiny issues like improper rubber seals which let water in, wiper malfunctions, central locking going haywire, horn issues and small sqeaks here and there can be a major irritant in the ownership of a TaMo car. All these can be easily solved with greater vigilance on the assembly line and stricter QC.
2). TaMo can launch a new sub-brand of cars exclusively for passenger and not fleet or taxi use. Many people avoid Tata due to their taxi car image. It can improve brand equity over the long run.
3). TaMo engineers have become relaxed after the creation of the Nano which is in itself a marvel. The people in the white coats at Tata need to really pull up their socks and get down to hard work of creating superb engines, steering racks, axles, suspension gear and get innovative. They need to understand that the Fiat MJD is going to get outdated in the next few years and then they have nothing in hand for small cars. They have the AVL derived 2.2 which is a decent unit in itself, refine and perfect it further, make smaller derivates out of it for the immediate long term. Diesel is being deregulated, and the day is not far when diesel and petrol are priced the same. Concentrate on petrols as much a you do on the oil burners. GDI, Turbocharging and VVT can give petrol motors superb tractability, power and average. All these technologies are availabe now with many manufacturers.
4). Improve the marketing men at TaMo as soon as possible. All agree that they have become the examples of how not to market a car. Make your sales front end staff more adept with cars and make them more intrested in selling cars by offering good incentives. A$$ needs to improve India. Remember that your relationship with the customer does not end when the dotted line is signed, it goes on till the car survives.
5). Donot forget JLR is your prime jewel. They have superb technical skills and talents. Use their skills in all your vehicles. The new sub 2L series of engines JLR is coming up with can be used for your cars in India right from hatch backs to SUV's.
6). Send your designers back to school to learn how cars are designed now in the present world. Other than the Nano, all their designs look dated. Many of our masses buy cars on the way a car looks along with its average.
7). The UV space in India is a endless goldmine for car makers. Scrap the sumo and get a new platform with superb looks and reliability for our rural masses. If the dated Bolero rakes in so many units a month, Tata with a new car and most importantly PROPER MARKETING can wrest the crown from Mahindra.
8). Donot absurdly price cars like you did with the Aria. If it were priced on par with the Innova, TKM would be having nice competition in the segment where the Innova has a monopoly.
9). Your commercial division does not face as many troubles as the passenger vehicle segment does. But with the economy surely to boom in the medium term to long term, foreign makers are going to bring in more trucks which can shake your predominance in the truck buisness.
10). Tell all your managers and strategists to read the forums on Team BHP to keep a tab on the market and understand what consumers want. Sometimes the suggestions of the members will be more helpful and decisive than the ones your managers would take.
I feel greatly disheartend to see TaMo which is an Indian manufacturer struggling to sell cars in their own home turf, whereas all the overseas players are having a blast selling their cars in India. Buckle up TaMo before its too late.
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Old 8th June 2013, 02:42   #8
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Default Re: Ideas for the next Tata Car (Ideator)

1) Quality Checks - Ensure that the QC on all the vehicles in their repertoire are of the highest order, known sources have reported failures from power windows to radiator, just about each component should go through a rigorous QC before it is delivered to the customer.

2) Cut some Flab - Make the passenger vehicles lighter, this would in turn help in the performance (typical Swift VS Vista, Ertiga, Dzire), dynamics & even the mileage. Now that trunk on the Dzire is wafer thin, but looking at the May numbers, do you think anyone bothers? Most of the successful model are on DIET, be it the Swift, Dzire, i10, Amaze and so on.

3) Follow the industry norms, the out of place ODO on the Vista and stuff will not work.

4) Get some performance oriented vehicles and more importantly, price them right, the volumes might be low initially, but then over a period of time it'll pick up.

5) A$$ - This is the biggest grouse that most people have with Tata A$$, again get the right people on the floor instead of having too many idiots on the floor (you just cannot turn donkeys into horses).

6) We Indians are mad about features, so more than having features in an old product, launch a new product with all the features (XUV is a prime example, having a feature laden Vista this late in it's life cycle will never boost the volumes, all it'll do is, hit the margins more with the stock piling up).

7) Improve the drivability and refinement of the vehicles, the gear shifts, the steering response etc. Focus on Low end torque, for most buyers, driving in city, they need torque @ 1500-2000 RPM, hardly a few people rev their cars beyond 4K RPM.

8) Instead of plonking money on the vehicles that are slow movers (Storme, Aria), put entire focus on where the volumes lie (Hatchbacks, Small SUV's), the Indica and Vista are too long in the tooth, kill them & start the hatchback lineup afresh.

9) Ergonomics - Work on the vehicles sitting posture, the visibility from the driverís perspective. Having spacious vehicles is simply not going to work, if people need space, they are better buying houses.
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Old 8th June 2013, 03:27   #9
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Default Re: Ideas for the next Tata Car (Ideator)

its many and too many!! may be that's what TATA suffers from. The idea is - a well put product together to follow with after sales- with product quality bearing the 90% and after sales the remaining (with spill overs - individual horrors). Mahindra's success in disguise is they dont bear the TATA truck image- what they bear is the JEEP image which all of their product still does- starting from Thar to XUV- which is still a young and boyish image to live with in term of image whereas the old rickety Tata truck... no body in 2013 needs to tell them to grow young...havent they read the writing on the wall!!!!
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Old 8th June 2013, 04:11   #10
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1. Bring out niggle free cars from day one! Improve in house QC. Do quality inspection on every car, every part, if that is what it takes. 0% lemons. No compromise on QUALITY. Period.

2. Give training to ASC's & dealers in handling customers & cars. Treat customer complaints very seriously.

3. Give out 5 yrs, 1L kms warranty & roadside assistance to win people's hearts & confidence.

4. Cars, especially the SUV's should have better anti-theft security features. Safety features like ABS, BA & airbags should be standard on all models. Top end versions of costly models like safari storm should have traction control, stability control, etc. Also, its about time that tata should bring in Auto Transmissions.

5. Replace the ageing models with fresh new versions. The newer versions to be at almost the same price points as the outgoing versions!

6. Refresh every model, at least in 2 years! Familiarity breeds contempt! Stop making every version looking almost like the previous one.

7. Improve the parts availability situation in ASC's. Have common part bin for multiple models so as to keep the costs down, as well as to have better the parts availability. Old & phased out models also should not face any part availability issues.

8. Whats wrong at tata motors is detailed in this thread, "Forster resigns from Tata Motors". Correct them.

9. Do not let customer complaints escalate to court battles. With this one court battle mentioned in this thread " Protest against Tata Motors.EDIT Supreme Court Orders Tata to repair Sum (Protest against Tata Motors.EDIT Supreme Court Orders Tata to repair Sumo (pg.40))o", I guess, the entire nation got biased against tata motors. People think: what if it happens to me too√ā¬Ě!

10. For nano: The age of low cost cars is coming to a slow end. Swift desire & swift hatchback are selling more than altos. So bring in more features, improve quality. Money is not the only issue for people; snob value, features, safety & comfort too come into play

11. Conduct surveys; bring out new models as per what the people want, not as per what tata officials want them. Forums like T-BHP is all they need for their research. Make changes in existing models as per public demands. Those guys in the company, who are not performing enough to make the company ticking again should be fired, without any mercy!

12. Have better build quality. The cars should not look aged in a couple of years. Car doors closing with a European thud would be most welcome!
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Old 8th June 2013, 06:32   #11
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The first thing I would suggest that Tata do is completely focus on improving the quality of their existing products. Even the soon to be face-lifted models will be undisputed flops if they continue to fall apart within the first few months of ownership.

I don't think it necessary to really do too much with their ASS. They are already pretty vigilant, but the problem is the frequency of interaction due to poor parts quality and reliability.

Tata should initiate a weight reduction exercise like the 1gm per component/part that I think Maruti or Suzuki had done earlier. All Tata's excluding the Nano are morbidly obese. This in the short term will help their lazy engines seem peppier, while they develop decent Common Rail diesels based on their existing 1.4 and 2.2 platforms in the long run.

Coming back to quality, I am qualified to speak as I have lived with an Indigo GSX bought by my father, and Indica V2 Lsi 1.4 bought by my sister. Although the cars have lasted, they both look a decade older than they are, rattle and squeak and require an inordinate number of trips to the service centre for how much they have run.

My 2p. Thanks
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Old 8th June 2013, 07:07   #12
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Default Re: Ideas for the next Tata Car (Ideator)

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Originally Posted by GrammarNazi View Post
Hey everyone! I've been given a chance to personally meet the current MD of TATA MOTORS (Mr. Karl Slym) to generally discuss cars & suggest ideas about the next Tata car.
Congrats! A compact SUV will do nicely. It will sit with the TELCO lineage as well. The Sierra, Safari and even the Sumo has a lot of fan following here. But not the Tata hatchbacks or sedans. I loved the Estate too. It had a certain charm.

And do ask him to get some guys from Land Rover to help out. Tata helped them in time of need and its about time to return the favor.
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Old 8th June 2013, 07:22   #13
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Congrats! Not everyone gets such a chance.

As many people have already suggested, Concentrate on QC first. Even better, do quality checks on every single car more seriously. Isn't that supposed to happen? I see "checks ok" qc sticker on every Ford. Same should be with Tata too right?

Most of the minor irritants are the major contributors to the current hatred. Why cant they correct it? Look at tsk's review on storme - how many issues gets repeated from dicor?

Do concentrate on the value proposition. I have noticed that Tata had been giving more for the money earlier but then turned other way with Aria(higher pricing) and now Safari storme(less features).

Work on your strengths. A customer who wants a revvier petrol hatch/ sedan will goto Honda than a vista 90 hatch right? How do they think they can pull younger generation with their now almost decade old Vista?

Get rid of the Indica/go tag from the beginning of a product launch rather than correcting it way later. Though I felt Tata kept that thinking patriotic(Indi)? That has certainly taken away private customers from the brand. While the strategy was good Indica/go for cabs and Vista/Manza for private owners, it was not may be marketted on the sameline well enough.
Sumo was a better vehicle compared to Bolero in most aspects but see how Mahindra could upgrade that based on the target audience. Sumo interiors are looking too bad than how they were before 10 years.

Sales staffs and their attitude towards customers. They are no where close to Professional. All they want is to sell and thats it. You ask a thing, they dont know, they dont have pricelist, no brochures for a newly launched model.

Dealers dont maintain their test drive vehicles properly and thats the first car that any person drives to get an impression. So how much important this is right?

- QC
- Sales staffs and their attiude - professionalism
- Value proposition
- Concentrate on your strengths than trying to be what you are not.
- No more bulbous smiling frontend please.
- Be customer focused. Ex: That court case thread.
- Without a thought, fire the lazy higher level management (they made this happen) and pull in from some of the industry players.
- Get into aggressive campaigns with younger generation. May be a design competition, driving schools, simulators.

Whatever you do, do it right and not for the sake of it.

Edit: Ya, please bring in the Sierra now. Thats a proper lifestyle vehicle.

Learn a thing or two from Royal Enfield how they turned their fortune.

Edit: Ask Mr.Karl slym to meet GTO He has got such a potential when it comes to automobiles from what we have observed. Or even a team-bhp Tata meet in their plant like Fiat does with Team-fiat India.

Last edited by ganesc : 8th June 2013 at 07:32.
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Old 8th June 2013, 07:38   #14
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Congratulations on this rare opportunity.

First suggestion - don't market the cars as fun-to-drive (ex: the tv ad showing para gliders) because everyone knows that they are not. In teal life, we see youth doing such stuff with a modified Zen, an old Gypsy perhaps or a Mahendra jeep. Be realistic, Youth icons are Zens, Swifts, Balenos, etc. But not an Indica surely? Target the family instead. Look at the brilliance of Honda, a stylish brand that focussed on the family for a change when advertising the Amaze. Result: Honda reaches no.4.

I have a view on the taxi segment - having cars that taxi fleets lap up is not such a bad thing. After all, it brings in more sales. However, if you want to target the passenger car segment, then the cars have to be marketed in the right way.

Hard decisions - junk the Aria, it clearly a failure. Just move on and bring out a UV that can stand up to the Bolero.

Of course, as mentioned by the BHPians above, QC needs tightening.
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Old 8th June 2013, 07:48   #15
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Default Re: Ideas for the next Tata Car (Ideator)

Guys, I think he was invited to talk about a new car and not to teach/advice Karl how to run Tata motors? Sorry to be blunt, but that is what we are telling the OP to do when he meets Karl in person.
In my opinion, we should tell them what we would like to have in a new car. Similar to what we told to M&M for Thar? Please?
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