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Old 23rd July 2013, 15:51   #1
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Default Tata Motors launches stripped-down Indigo eCS taxis in Kolkata

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The Hindustan Ambassador is a sight that greets almost every visitor in Kolkata, even serving as one of the staple memories of the city for many. An icon in the Indian automotive lexicon, the Hindustan Ambassador has served as the quintessential taxicab of Kolkata for many decades. Cheap and easily available spares, apart from the West Bengal government's attractive scrappage scheme, are factors that have allowed the Ambassador to retain its dominance and popularity, in one of India's oldest metropolitan cities.

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The state government's indulgent policies have done their bit for the car. In fact, the West Bengal government has repeatedly relaxed rules to accommodate the Ambassador taxi in Kolkata. The latest such concession came last year, when the Mamata Banerjee government gave cab operators yet another 6 month extension for replacing their BS-3 emission norms compliant Ambassador fleets with BS-4 cars. Notably, the Ambassador is built in West Bengal, at Hindustan Motors's Uttarpara factory to be specific.

Even as Hindustan Motors is all set to launch the BS-4 emission norms compliant Ambassador Diesel, the car could face a fresh test as Tata Motors is eyeing the taxi sector in Kolkata with renewed vigour. Tata Motors has just launched a stripped out variant of the Indigo eCS compact sedan, at an ex-showroom Kolkata price of 4 lakh rupees. The Tata Indigo is aimed squarely at the Hindustan Ambassador taxis operating in Kolkata. To operate as a Kolkata taxi, the Indigo will be dressed in yellow garb.

Tata Motors launches stripped-down Indigo eCS taxis in Kolkata-tata-indigo-ecs-1.jpg

Also, the car is shorn of a few features such as the power steering and air conditioning to make for the 4 lakh rupee price tag. The Indigo sold in Kolkata will be powered by a 1.4 liter turbo diesel engine that is BS-4 compliant. The version with power steering and air conditioning is said to be priced at 4.97 lakh rupees, ex-showroom Kolkata. Meanwhile, this isn't the first instance of Tata Motors attempting to foray into the taxi market of Kolkata.

Tata Motors launches stripped-down Indigo eCS taxis in Kolkata-tata-indigo-ecs-2.jpg

In 2009, the car maker introduced 1,000 Indigo sedans in Kolkata to do duty as taxis. Back then, the car maker offered the buyer a 60,000 rupee Ambassador buyback scheme and an additional 20,000 rupee subsidy, as a deal sweetener. However, there have been reports that many taxi users in Kolkata were reluctant to engage Indigo cabs since these cabs were perceived to be more expensive than the Ambassadors. This even prompted many Indigo cab drivers to prominently display fares on par with the Ambassadors.

So, cab operators might have some convincing to do for customers to begin accepting the Indigo as an alternative to the Ambassador. For its part, Tata Motors is pitching the Indigo sedan as an more economical option by promising buyers savings of 350 rupees on a daily running of 180 Km. Also, the car maker is betting on attractive exchange schemes, an annual maintenance contract and lower service downtimes, as the other plus points of the Indigo sedan's use as a taxi.

Source HindustanTimes

Last edited by JayPrashanth : 23rd July 2013 at 15:59. Reason: News Link Added
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Old 23rd July 2013, 19:24   #2
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Default Re: Tata Motors launches stripped-down Indigo eCS taxis in Kolkata

Bad marketing attempt by Tata's. I am not sure if Karl is doing it or there is someone who is advising him to take these steps which are further tarnishing the image of TML.

The market was expecting following in the facelift Indigo

- Place for double din music system
- Steering mounted controls
- Atleast driver side airbag

in the VX model but Tatas decided against it, no one knows why.

And now they are taking reverse steps back to 1998 when Indica was launched with DLE trim without Power steering, what a joke.

Karl please don't do such things !
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Old 23rd July 2013, 19:41   #3
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Default Re: Tata Motors launches stripped-down Indigo eCS taxis in Kolkata

I for one believe that these would be excellent replacement for the ambassadors. Most of the HM ambis on kolkata roads have outlived their lives. These will be far more fuel efficient and more comfortable too. I definitely welcome tjis move.
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Old 24th July 2013, 10:04   #4
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Default Re: Tata Motors launches stripped-down Indigo eCS taxis in Kolkata

Not a bad move at all, IMO. The TML image is now very dodgy when it comes to personal buyers, but the Taxi market has taken the Tata vehicles well, like the Indica and Indigo. So, instead of repeated attempts that Tata Motors have made to do well in the passenger segment market, buyers are still not keen to buy their vehicles nor they are looking too much up to the upcoming models. So, why not cater the segment where the numbers come from.
Only concern is that the iconic Amby may be out of the roads soon, if Tata does well here.

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Old 24th July 2013, 11:21   #5
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This is the latest indigo with cable shift. Cabbies would prefer this to the Amby as upkeep hassles & costs would be lower with newer technology.
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