Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > The Indian Car Scene


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 29th August 2013, 12:51   #1
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Bangalore/Pune
Posts: 1,192
Thanked: 1,556 Times
Default Tata Motors hops on to platform sharing with Advanced Modular Platform

Link to News Section

Indian car and utility vehicle maker Tata Motors is all set to follow global car makers such as Volkswagen and Renault-Nissan, to embark on platform sharing in a big way. This information, which surfaced on IndianCarsBikes a few months ago, has now been made official by Dr Tim Leverton, the Research and Design Chief at Tata Motors. Dr Leverton, speaking to Motoring.Au, has noted that Tata Motors is developing the Advanced Modular Platform (AMP) for use in its next generation range of cars.

Tata Motors hops on to platform sharing with Advanced Modular Platform-tata-indica-cutaway.jpg

Note: Images used in this report are illustrations and are not representative of the actual Advanced Modular Platform.

Tata Motors plans to launch all new cars from 2015, until when it will continue refreshing its existing line up. The Advanced Modular Platform could be at the forefront of future Tata cars as it will give the car maker attractive cost savings through the sharing of parts and production facilities. The modular platform will use a monocoque structure that will cover new hatchbacks, sedans and compact SUVs in Tata Motors's future range.

Tata Motors hops on to platform sharing with Advanced Modular Platform-tata-sumo-cutaway.jpg

Also, Tata Motors plans to integrate its larger SUVs onto a single body-on-ladder chassis, which will be common across SUV and pick up truck models. This is one more cost saving measure under the AMP. This also means that Tata Motors will eschew the monocoque construction for the more conventional body-on-ladder chassis for its large SUV range. Tata Motors's current range of cars and SUVs will gradually transition to the new AMP.

World over, car makers have been betting big on modular platforms to allow sharing of platforms, parts and production facilities. Here are a few examples. The Volkswagen group has the MQB platform, Renault-Nissan have the CMF architecture, Ford has embraced the "One Ford" program, General Motors is about to leap onto the D2XX platform, Peugeot is making investments in the EMP2 architecture while Mercedes Benz is churning out affordable luxury cars under the MFA program.

Last edited by JayPrashanth : 29th August 2013 at 12:58. Reason: News Link Added
JayPrashanth is offline   (8) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th August 2013, 13:03   #2
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Faridabad/Delhi
Posts: 1,594
Thanked: 439 Times
Default Re: Tata Motors hops on to platform sharing with Advanced Modular Platform

That's hardly a new development. Cost-conscious Tata has always followed that practice.
  1. Tatamobile platform (introduced in 1988): Tatamobile, Sierra, Estate, Sumo, Safari, Spacio, Sumo Victa, Sumo Gold, 207 (DI)
  2. Indica platform: Indica, Indigo, Marina, Indigo XL, Indigo CS
  3. X1 platform: Vista & Manza
  4. X2 platform: Aria & Storme
And I haven't even referred to the CVs.
directinjection is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th August 2013, 14:14   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
rajshenoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: bangalore
Posts: 1,847
Thanked: 624 Times
Infractions: 0/2 (10)
Default Re: Tata Motors hops on to platform sharing with Advanced Modular Platform

I am still laughing after reading this news. Shared it among friends like what we do with other joke.

TATA has been abusing the same indica platform from the day i was interested in cars !!

May be what we are missing is Indica based SUV which might be Vista with rear mounted spare wheel.

Indian auto market is not looking rosy and TATA needs more JLR inspiration in their designs now
rajshenoy is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th August 2013, 16:47   #4
Senior - BHPian
 
MaserQ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,156
Thanked: 51 Times
Default Re: Tata Motors hops on to platform sharing with Advanced Modular Platform

In Tata speak "plans to launch all new cars by 2015" would actually mean "we would try our best but realistically we can expect to roll out cars based on the Advanced Modular Platform by 2017-2018".

Bumpy ride ahead for the big T.
MaserQ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th August 2013, 21:36   #5
BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: india
Posts: 108
Thanked: 132 Times
Default Re: Tata Motors hops on to platform sharing with Advanced Modular Platform

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajshenoy View Post
I am still laughing after reading this news. Shared it among friends like what we do with other joke.
If your friends are knowledgeable then probably the joke will rebound on you

Please read up what this AMP strategy means. If it really was the conventional platform thingy then Tim Leverton (I put him at the top bunch of current automotive engineers) would not be talking about it in such a manner. Would he?

Quote:
Originally Posted by directinjection View Post
That's hardly a new development. Cost-conscious Tata has always followed that practice.
Yes you are right.

TML, just as other makers, has deployed platforms across its model range. But AMP and similar strategies from other automakers are different. You can now can straddle an entire range involving variable body length and width among other things. In its simplest it reduces the cost/cycle time and in its most complex it provides an endless combinations of flexible vehicle dynamics. And its not just about platform but also various modules that go into making it and the final product.

I saw the presentation on TML's AMP and it was stunning. Almost all major vehicle manufacturer are developing/deployed their own modular systems. Toyota calls their Global Architecture ( from new Prius to new Camry same), Mercedes have their Front/Rear Wheel platform. Citroen calls their Efficient Platform and so on. Typically 50% of their total production will employ a single such platform.

But VW has really mastered this and TML is sensible in benchmarking them.

More importantly without AMP, TML wont be able to roll out any of their new range of global cars by 2015. If they followed the conventional method it will take them much more time and money. They are trying to achieve something that in traditional method would take at least 5 years without counting their usual slackness. The Merlin project is an example of such a delay and it is not exactly a built-from-scratch project.

The current team is as much as lover of present TML range as rest of us at Team-Bhp are. But they really have no option in the interim except those facelifts. Unlike a Honda or Hyundai they don't have at their disposal a wide global model range from which they can just pick and adapt for India. Anything TML does needs to be done from scratch and it takes time. And no, the JLR range does count as a viable dipping pool for TML India.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaserQ View Post
In Tata speak "plans to launch all new cars by 2015 would actually mean "we would try our best but realistically we can expect to roll out cars based on the Advanced Modular Platform by 2017-2018".
Quite possible. But at least now they have some very passionate people. The last time there was Sumantran but he left for reasons prevailing then.

I admire the current lot. At one hand they are witnessing falling sales. On the other they get ridiculed by sometimes unqualified people. But they have been very patiently working on setting goals and working hard to achieve them. I am already witnessing change. QA has now become completely non-negotiable. They have put an ED level person in charge of quality. His mandate is from A to Z and not just limited to fault finding but to provide a solution. TML is now involving vendors in product design in a far more integrated manner than they did earlier.

Next 3+2 years are crucial for TML. At the end of that period either they will be one of the greatest passenger car maker or will be going bust.

Last edited by drive_factor : 29th August 2013 at 21:42.
drive_factor is offline   (17) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th August 2013, 22:49   #6
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Kottayam,Kerala
Posts: 23
Thanked: 38 Times
Default Re: Tata Motors hops on to platform sharing with Advanced Modular Platform

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajshenoy View Post
I am still laughing after reading this news. Shared it among friends like what we do with other joke.

TATA has been abusing the same indica platform from the day i was interested in cars !!

May be what we are missing is Indica based SUV which might be Vista with rear mounted spare wheel.

Indian auto market is not looking rosy and TATA needs more JLR inspiration in their designs now
Your comment is seemingly more funny than the news. Before making assumptions about the news, please try to understand what they mean by AMP. If it was the same old platform sharing technique why would they try to invest money and time to develop it again.

There is a remarkable difference between conventional platform and modular platform. Conventional platform can be altered in terms of wheelbase other than that it is pretty much fixed. But this is where the modular platform really shines. It is a core "matrix" of components that can be used across a wide variety of vehicles of diverse dimensions. They can manufacture vehicles of different width, length, form factor every thing in the same plant with the same processes. This can reduce the lead time in R&D, weight and obviously the cost.
Like the MQB platform of Volkswagen group, even JLR's PLA platform is another example. The PLA underpins both Jaguar XJ and the New Range Rover which are having entirely different form factor. Even there much rumored smaller 3 series rival and Cross over will be based on this same platform. This versatility of the platform is what TATA Motors is trying to achieve.
rahulsampath is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 30th August 2013, 01:02   #7
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Kottayam
Posts: 1,081
Thanked: 153 Times
Default Re: Tata Motors hops on to platform sharing with Advanced Modular Platform

Quote:
Originally Posted by drive_factor View Post
Next 3+2 years are crucial for TML. At the end of that period either they will be one of the greatest passenger car maker or will be going bust.
Another advantage with modular design is TML can share platforms with other OEMs. Considering the cost and time involved in building a new platform, it makes sense to share platform with others to reduce the investment. With the engineering skills TML and India in general have, it is quite possible that we can design platforms more cost effectively here in India. Modular design allows other OEMs to make entirely different vehicles on the same platform. Ford shares some of its platform with Mazda.
Whatever it is, it is do or die situation for TML, the new team (from chairman to MD to various organizational heads) with a new mindset is in charge. Their actions and decisions will decide the future of TML in 2020 and beyond.
teamveevee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th August 2013, 06:24   #8
Senior - BHPian
 
rajshenoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: bangalore
Posts: 1,847
Thanked: 624 Times
Infractions: 0/2 (10)
Default Re: Tata Motors hops on to platform sharing with Advanced Modular Platform

Quote:
Originally Posted by rahulsampath View Post
Your comment is seemingly more funny than the news. Before making assumptions about the news, please try to understand what they mean by AMP. If it was the same old platform sharing technique why would they try to invest money and time to develop it again.
Quote:
Originally Posted by drive_factor View Post
If your friends are knowledgeable then probably the joke will rebound on you
OK, I didnt mean to offend anyone here. I know what platform sharing means. But going by their track record, TATA version of platform sharing might end up totally different. I would be more glad if I am proven wrong.

I don't see anything exciting coming until 2015(even design) from them. But I hope its worth the wait.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drive_factor View Post
Next 3+2 years are crucial for TML. At the end of that period either they will be one of the greatest passenger car maker or will be going bust.
Well said. They have run out of options and hopefully this is one last option that will click for them.

Last edited by rajshenoy : 30th August 2013 at 06:41.
rajshenoy is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 30th August 2013, 10:46   #9
RSR
Distinguished - BHPian
 
RSR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Chennai
Posts: 1,621
Thanked: 4,538 Times
Default Re: Tata Motors hops on to platform sharing with Advanced Modular Platform

Quote:
Originally Posted by drive_factor View Post

Next 3+2 years are crucial for TML. At the end of that period either they will be one of the greatest passenger car maker or will be going bust.
There is always a third option to avoid the latter situation - a simple exit from the passenger vehicle business, with Fiat buying out Tata's stake in the Ranjangaon plant, Jaguar-Land Rover being a completely independent subsidiary & the Tata empire's crown jewels and the Nano being turned into an independent brand (or even company) of its own with an eye on selling it (along with the Sanand plant) to a global car maker (perhaps Fiat) if Tata cannot sustain the remarkable project any longer.

Time is running out fast for Messrs. Mistry, Slym & colleagues and they only know it too well. I believe a smart businessman like Mr. Mistry would have already prepared a plan B to prevent the demise of Tata Motors as a whole, if their efforts to revive the bleeding passenger vehicle business were to fail.
RSR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th August 2013, 16:22   #10
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: London
Posts: 525
Thanked: 191 Times
Default Re: Tata Motors hops on to platform sharing with Advanced Modular Platform

Its a good move by TM - better late than never. I believe there always exists a market for products which will provide better value to the customer - TM started off well on that front - Remember Mr Tata's statement when the original Indica came out - 'Internal space of an ambassador, outer size of a zen and price/running costs of 800'. Sad thing is that the company lost its way for no apparent reason.

Now with a rude wake up call due to falling sales, I hope they regain the value mantra and come back with a bigger bang. To do this, they need to jettison some old baggage - old Indica, Sumo etc, apply the lessons learnt from the ARIA, Vista, Manza and produce / market a niggle free family of vehicles...and the biggest thing going in their favour is that they have all the tools / technologies / processes to achieve this!

However, having said this, I strongly believe the auto industry is going towards consolidation and will see more parts / platforms sharing than ever before - (even a company of Mercedes stature is sharing platforms / parts / engines with Renault-Nissan!). So Tata should seriously consider tying up with a proper worldwide car manufacturer who can provide them all of these while allowing them to retain their identity (and no, FIAT doesn't make the cut)
prashanthyr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st August 2013, 10:11   #11
BHPian
 
Equus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 872
Thanked: 158 Times
Default Re: Tata Motors hops on to platform sharing with Advanced Modular Platform

I dont think its fair to dismiss this - IMO, its a life-saver. They are going nowhere in todays market conditions and fit/finish/aspirational etc are equally important as the cost. I hope they do succeed and wish them well.
The Vista should never have been named Indica in the first place. Such a fantastic car, and never got the recognition it deserved. Hope, Mistry doesnt have the affection towards Indica/Nano like Tata had and makes rational biz decisions.
Equus is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 31st August 2013, 13:35   #12
RSR
Distinguished - BHPian
 
RSR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Chennai
Posts: 1,621
Thanked: 4,538 Times
Default Re: Tata Motors hops on to platform sharing with Advanced Modular Platform

Quote:
Originally Posted by Equus View Post
Hope, Mistry doesnt have the affection towards Indica/Nano like Tata had and makes rational biz decisions.
That's a fantastic point you have expressed!

There is no doubt that Mr. Tata has loads of emotional attachment towards both the Indi-ca/go car family and the Nano project. Both were his ideas, his vision, his contribution to society, his projects - he was personally involved in their minutest details, unlike the rest of their range which he supervised and lead without being at the core of the effort. They are his "children", so to say.

The Nano is one of a kind and it's still in its childhood and its great potential throughout the world can still be realised if Tata Motors were to make the required effort.

On the other hand, both generations of the Indi-ca/go family (especially the first one) are well past their prime years and are having a terribly torrid time in very tough segments where the competition is so fierce and cut-throat that even top global giants are finding it difficult to meet modest sales expectations. Some high level executives in the company might have known this earlier, but must have been reluctant to advise the top boss of the need to move away from the Indi-ca/go culture for fear of offending his emotions.

This should have changed with Mr. Mistry in charge now. He would have respect for his illustrious predecessor and his visionary ideas, but I guess he may be inclined to take more pragmatic and rational business decisions.

Last edited by RSR : 31st August 2013 at 13:38.
RSR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st August 2013, 14:45   #13
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: DL9C
Posts: 2,521
Thanked: 2,253 Times
Default Re: Tata Motors hops on to platform sharing with Advanced Modular Platform

Quote:
Originally Posted by drive_factor View Post
... I am already witnessing change. QA has now become completely non-negotiable. They have put an ED level person in charge of quality. His mandate is from A to Z and not just limited to fault finding but to provide a solution. TML is now involving vendors in product design in a far more integrated manner than they did earlier. ...
Is this for the upcoming models or the existing products as well?
Dry Ice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st August 2013, 15:13   #14
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 860
Thanked: 298 Times
Default Re: Tata Motors hops on to platform sharing with Advanced Modular Platform

Quote:
Originally Posted by Equus View Post
The Vista should never have been named Indica in the first place. Such a fantastic car, and never got the recognition it deserved. Hope, Mistry doesnt have the affection towards Indica/Nano like Tata had and makes rational biz decisions.
Yes, the Vista shouldnt have named Indica. And the car's rear too did a lot to keep it from attaining full potential of market for such a good car.

Nano was one of a kind product. Without Mr. Ratan Tata's affection there wouldnt be a Nano. However, Nano should evolve more.

Indica created a segment when it was introduced. There were no compact, affordable diesel hatchback back then.

Of course, times have changed.
simplyself is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st September 2013, 19:44   #15
BHPian
 
mohitk1993's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Manipal
Posts: 81
Thanked: 70 Times
Default Re: Tata Motors hops on to platform sharing with Advanced Modular Platform

Quote:
Originally Posted by Equus View Post
The Vista should never have been named Indica in the first place. Such a fantastic car, and never got the recognition it deserved.
Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyself View Post
Yes, the Vista shouldnt have named Indica. And the car's rear too did a lot to keep it from attaining full potential of market for such a good car.

.
To be honest, it is not about how their cars looked, the way annoying niggles kept cropping up or the lousy service centres; the biggest blow to TATA was that post-2005, it NEVER had the products that the market ACTUALLY wanted.

1. 2008. The Nano is introduced to immense fanfare, albeit in smaller numbers due to the plant issue. Bookings go off the roof, TATA showrooms are packed to the brim and the salesmen are having a field day. What no one is noticing is that the max. bookings come from people who want to have the NANO as a second car, with first-timers forming a very small number. Two families from my own colony brought the Nano home, both as a second car. And that is where Ratan Tata (with due respect to his vision and ideas) went wrong. The Nano, for all its revolutionary features, simply did not meet the common man's needs. It looked too odd for a car, it was rear-engined and drove the rear wheels (something unheard of among the masses), it had different-sized tyres and what not. A common man with a limited salary could not afford taking a risk on a car which was simply too unconventional for his tasks.

TATA, being an Indian company, should have realized that us Indians do not like taking risks. That is the reason why reliable, albeit boring Japanese cars continue to sell in large numbers, despite having little or no safety features to protect the occupants from injury. And I haven't talked about those burning Nanos yet.

Another thing that pains my heart is: having realized that the primary target (the 1st time car buyer) is not buying the car, TATA made little efforts to focus on those looking for a city runabout. It is only this year when finally, a basic necessity such as a glove-box is introduced and a power steering option continues to be inconspicuous. Also, why has it taken TATA so many years to come up with a diesel engine?? TATAs have always been synonymous with diesel engines and IMHO, the company should have started working on a diesel engine along with the car.

2. Same year. The Vista was launched. Many people have complained that it looked similar to the previous gen Indica, it continued to have quality issues and what not. But what no one noticed was that it was a product that no one ASPIRED to own. The Indica nameplate had been firmly planted in the Indian mindset as a taxiwallah's car; as a result, it never came into discussion among the car-buying junta. If one looks closely, a majority of the Indica's sales continued to come from the taxi segment; now that the taxi guys have better, cheap and reliable options to choose, Indica sales have gone on a free fall.

What I simply fail to understand is: despite having the home advantage, why is TATA having to struggle? Is it so difficult to understand the needs and wants of the Indian customer, or are we just one of those kinds who are simply unpredictable? All major car companies are almost at the top of their game in their home countries. This is true, not just for cars but for all major consumer products. In such a short span of time, Micromax and Karbonn have grown by leap and bounds and are now, rubbing shoulders with the biggies. This is mainly because they offer exactly what an average Indian customer looks for in a smartphone, high-end specs at a cheap price point. Is that so hard to get, TATA?? Even Mahindra, which has had to face almost the same challenges as you, has grown.

What TATA needs at the end of the day is a product that is true to its philiosphy of maximum space at minimum price, but with all the negatives that TATAs are known for ironed out. The brand TATA continues to have significant respect among the Indian population and that alone may help the company rise to its former glory.


Coming back to the Advanced Modular Platform, even though the idea behind the concept itself is brilliant, what TATA must realize is that all major companies adopting similar platforms build a very large number of cars of different types over different countries to make it successful. TATA has a very limited number of body designs to work upon, what it should ask itself is: will it be profitable in the long run? Setting up a platform of such magnitude and proportions requires a dedicated strategy and needs significant time and money to develop. What remains to be seen is whether TATA is upto it or not?? Only time will tell.
mohitk1993 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tata Motors launches 'Tata Motors Service' for passenger vehicles GrammarNazi The Indian Car Scene 10 30th July 2013 11:21
Tata Motors Enters Motorsports With “Tata Motors Full Throttle”! fiat_tarun Indian Motorsport 28 16th September 2012 12:16
Funfilled Weekend for Customers courtesy Tata Motors, KHT Motors and Aadya Motors anujmishra Indian Car Dealerships 9 27th May 2012 16:47


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 22:16.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks