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Old 23rd November 2013, 21:45   #31
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Projector headlights! Won't that be a first in the segment?

I like the shape and quality of plastic used in the front grille. Mixed reaction to the boot treatment. Not sure whether it will gel well enough.
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Old 23rd November 2013, 22:03   #32
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Default Re: Tata Falcon hatchback, compact saloon to debut at 2014 Auto Expo

I think the major reason for failure of Indica and Indigo is the snob value of TATA. I would buy the Manza anyday over dZire or any other car in the segment because it deserves it but it being a TATA doesnt command that much respect. Major reason people buy certain cars in India is not because they want one but because their society pressures them to. Tata really needs to work on their brand image. Their only vehicle which has some value to it left is Safari. Even Safari has lost its name to its competitors and doesnt have the same snob value like 3-4 years ago.
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Old 23rd November 2013, 23:22   #33
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I think the major reason for failure of Indica and Indigo is the snob value of TATA. I would buy the Manza anyday over dZire or any other car in the segment because it deserves it but it being a TATA doesnt command that much respect. Major reason people buy certain cars in India is not because they want one but because their society pressures them to. Tata really needs to work on their brand image. Their only vehicle which has some value to it left is Safari. Even Safari has lost its name to its competitors and doesnt have the same snob value like 3-4 years ago.
I dont think Indica and Indigo has failed in any aspect. They have been undoubtedly two of the best selling twins, after the Swift brothers.
In a Twitter interaction with Mr. Karl Slym, I had recently requested him to spin off Safari as a separate brand, and create an all new car brand too (how GM owns Chevrolet, Opel, etc). The Tata brand can focus only on commercial vehicles, whereas Safari and the new brand can focus on the passenger car market. Shouldn't be difficult for Tata as they already have JLR in their stable.
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Old 24th November 2013, 08:02   #34
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Default Re: Tata Falcon hatchback, compact saloon to debut at 2014 Auto Expo

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I dont think Indica and Indigo has failed in any aspect. They have been undoubtedly two of the best selling twins, after the Swift brothers.
In a Twitter interaction with Mr. Karl Slym, I had recently requested him to spin off Safari as a separate brand, and create an all new car brand too (how GM owns Chevrolet, Opel, etc). The Tata brand can focus only on commercial vehicles, whereas Safari and the new brand can focus on the passenger car market. Shouldn't be difficult for Tata as they already have JLR in their stable.
I dont think creating a new brand of fro Tata cars is really necessary. What is needed is to rework the brand image of Tata cars and to do that is to change the kind of products that come out of the factory. There is absolutely no harm in having a huge commercial vehicle manufacturer and a car maker sharing brand names. Look at the Volvo, Mercedes, Hyundai, Toyota etc, all of which have both CVs as well as cars associated with them.

Also, creating a spin-off brand which can magically lose the traits of Tata cars is not as easy as it sounds. The Tata brand has a very strong international recall. Even huge brands like JLR and Corus which have got associated with the Tata brand are today very much associated with Tata. Also despite the not so great image of Tata in the car segment, overall the Tata brand name is a positive force in the minds of the Indian car buyer.

The only place where Tata may succeed in creating a new brand image for cars is outside India. Tata already has a decent brand which is lying dormant under it, ie Rover. They may want to use it to sell its cars outside India in future. But again, the strength of the Tata brand vs the defunct Rover brand will have to extensively studied before taking any decision.
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Old 24th November 2013, 11:42   #35
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Default Re: Tata Falcon hatchback, compact saloon to debut at 2014 Auto Expo

Tata's seem to have genuine problems in productionizing their test variants. The new models out for road tests clock several hundred thousand miles across the country on long term pre-production tests and performs very well with original quality equipment which is a limited one-off production run from the vendors but later when mango consumers get their hands on the vehicle the same consistency is not around anymore, and vendors do not maintain similar consistency of components and result is complaints galore. Also aligning production lines to reduce those glitches in brand new Tata cars which may be due to sloppy or inconsistent assembly line should be reduced and expertise sought from some eminent consulting companies or do whatever is required to rectify the same. Tata may need to improve on the modular assembly concept by extra lining that can also ensure a tight fit and lesser rattles later on. The dash board design also needs to be better thought about rather than an after thought. Here too they should consult or borrow ideas from top Euro manufacturers and incorporate better quality plastics which will make their customers get the impression that they are associated with a premium brand and not an also ran. Also they need to 'Europeanize' their designs a bit and introduce value perceptions like 'door thuds' and handling + ride quality.
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Old 24th November 2013, 15:05   #36
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Default Re: Tata Falcon hatchback, compact saloon to debut at 2014 Auto Expo

TATA Motors could have taken the country by storm with all their great concepts - the Indica, India's first diesel hatch; the Indigo CS, India's first sub-4-metre saloon, the Nano, the world's most affordable car. But they always were 10 steps behind when it came to reliability and consistency. They continued to use customers as their testing mules and hence Version One of any new product was always riddled with glaring technical problems. If they could not provide high luxury, at least they could have provided a rugged, dependable product range.

They have as their foremost and major obstacle, to rid the public of a perception of poor quality and an unreliable manufacturer. It is a Herculean task but definitely achievable, if they have the will to do so.

Hyundai is a great example!
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Old 24th November 2013, 18:33   #37
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Default Re: Tata Falcon hatchback, compact saloon to debut at 2014 Auto Expo

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Originally Posted by julupani View Post
Just to remind people, JLR developed a screaming 500hp 10,000rpm 1.6L twin-turbo engine for their CX75.
The 1.6 L engine used in CX 75 is actually developed by Cosworth as a Formula 1 engine before the FIA changed its mind and ditched 4-cylinder units for V6 engines for the 2014 season.
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Old 24th November 2013, 21:54   #38
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The 1.6 L engine used in CX 75 is actually developed by Cosworth as a Formula 1 engine before the FIA changed its mind and ditched 4-cylinder units for V6 engines for the 2014 season.
Yes, but as far as I know once Cosworth had no use for it, it was JLR who bought the right and developed the engine further for possible future use and to act as a technology development exercise. As far as I know the engine that actually put to use in the CX-75 has significant Jag inputs, not to mention the entire hybrid system attached to it. And even apart from that engine, JLR are anyway developing 4-pot engines for their road cars which could possibly have some use in some Tata cars too.

Overall, the hope is that there is a technology flow from JLR to Tata cars, especially when JLR is spending big bucks on R&D.
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Old 25th November 2013, 00:47   #39
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The only place where Tata may succeed in creating a new brand image for cars is outside India. Tata already has a decent brand which is lying dormant under it, ie Rover. They may want to use it to sell its cars outside India in future. But again, the strength of the Tata brand vs the defunct Rover brand will have to extensively studied before taking any decision.
Totally agree. Not only Rover, but Daimler too. Products like the Aria would've sold like hot cakes if the Rover or Daimler badge was associated to it. Somehow, the Tata brand has got entangled in the Taxi market, and it is really difficult to break that. Of course Tata wouldn't want to lose its share there, but then, a brand like Rover would do a world of good to the Tatas. And yes, they need to have separate service centers for D/R, etc and TML. Cant do another Fiat fiasco.

OT: I don't agree Tatas by default enjoy great patronage. Probably during our parents time, but not now. Many examples of poor quality of Tata products and services exist today - TML, TTSL (Docomo and Indicom brands), Voltas (ask my dad what they have done to his AC), etc. There are examples galore.
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Old 29th November 2013, 18:42   #40
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Default Re: Tata Falcon hatchback, compact saloon to debut at 2014 Auto Expo

Motorbash have reported latest sighting of the Falcon petrol at a petrol pump in Pune, where it had turned up for refuelling. Refer below link for their report:

http://motorbash.com/petrol-2014-vis...s-new-details/
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Old 6th December 2013, 11:19   #41
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Default Re: Tata Falcon hatchback, compact saloon to debut at 2014 Auto Expo

Today's Mint has carried an excellent interview with Pratap Bose, head of design for Tata Motors. Mr. Bose talks about the Falcon project and confirms its unveiling in February, among other things. Excerpts from the interview.

Quote:
the interior is much more driver focused. It’s about the pleasure of driving, the way we have designed the layout of the dashboard, feel of the knob and gearshift--they are all linked to that intrinsic product strength. The gear shift knob has been tested on 50-60 people to see it’s the right feel and have then come up with optimal solution. The thickness and feel of the steering wheel also has been tested extensively—internally and externally.
Quote:
I introduced myself to Ravi at dinner and said I would like to work for Tata Motors and wanted 30 minutes with Ratan Tata to tell him how design in Tata Motors should be.
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I personally feel the Safari will become an iconic product—even in the time when Safari has been around, many products have come and gone. Making a strong visual statement is very important in India.
Quote:
People will want the comforts of a bigger car in a hatchback. Many features of bigger cars will make way into the smaller cars. The Falcon will be an example of that trend. We have drawn several features from higher segment cars.
Looks like Tata Motors is betting big on the Falcon project

Source - http://www.livemint.com/Companies/jQ...ot-faster.html

Last edited by safari_lover : 6th December 2013 at 11:23.
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Old 6th December 2013, 11:56   #42
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Default Re: Tata Falcon hatchback, compact saloon to debut at 2014 Auto Expo

Okay, I confess! Eversince I realized that the British take so much pride in their cars, I wanted to be emotionally attached with an Indian brand too! If you disagree, please see BBC Top Gear series, and realize that James Bond will use British marques mostly!

And Tata never had aspirational products ( Safari once was, Aria was too expensive for me ) that I could afford. Currently only the Aria and XUV can make an Indian feel comfortable. And thankfully, Tata is on its recovery path. Soon we might have a Tata product taking the fight with the Polo GT variants.

I am not too optimistic about the Vista & Manza facelifts, as their body sides are too straight to make the cars 'look' sporty. The face lifts are more of a sign of things to come. Good luck Tata

EDIT: Not wanting to sound like a racist Indian. My mesage was - I am waiting for the day I want to buy a car, not just because its Indian. I want to go for car shopping and feel compelled by an Indian car

Last edited by aravind.anand : 6th December 2013 at 12:08.
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Old 6th December 2013, 12:13   #43
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Default Re: Tata Falcon hatchback, compact saloon to debut at 2014 Auto Expo

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Originally Posted by aravind.anand View Post
Okay, I confess! Eversince I realized that the British take so much pride in their cars, I wanted to be emotionally attached with an Indian brand too! If you disagree, please see BBC Top Gear series, and realize that James Bond will use British marques mostly!

And Tata never had aspirational products ( Safari once was, Aria was too expensive for me ) that I could afford. Currently only the Aria and XUV can make an Indian feel comfortable. And thankfully, Tata is on its recovery path. Soon we might have a Tata product taking the fight with the Polo GT variants.

I am not too optimistic about the Vista & Manza facelifts, as their body sides are too straight to make the cars 'look' sporty. The face lifts are more of a sign of things to come. Good luck Tata
I always felt the same way when I watch TG! Most of us love basing anything made in India and worship foreign stuff, then we blame government for our country's economic condition.

Let's take Nano for example, it received lot of appreciation from all around the world, but people find happiness in bashing it every single time they see one on the road. One of positive aspect of nano is that it has got 4-star safety rating in crash test(Airbag being the only modification being made) but people often say car will crumble even in minor collision. Ironically car which has got zero star is the most selling car in India!

But let's face it,except for nano other cars are having lot of issues, TATA definitely needs to improve QC, when that happens I will definitely buy one.
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Old 6th December 2013, 13:59   #44
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Default Re: Tata Falcon hatchback, compact saloon to debut at 2014 Auto Expo

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Originally Posted by safari_lover View Post
Today's Mint has carried an excellent interview with Pratap Bose, head of design for Tata Motors. Mr. Bose talks about the Falcon project and confirms its unveiling in February, among other things. Excerpts from the interview.

Looks like Tata Motors is betting big on the Falcon project

Source - http://www.livemint.com/Companies/jQ...ot-faster.html
While the intent to bring driver focus is good, but I think the interpretation of a car that is engaging to drive maybe a little off the track. Whilst Steering thickness, gearshift knob feel is definitely important, what is far more important is how the gears shift between its cogs, how the steering feels, communicates, weighs up. This is where manufacturers that are known for making fun-to-drive cars, spend most of their time and energy on.

Mainly suspension tuning and design, choosing the right linkage angles, right length arms, the right bushing, and lastly spring rates, damper parameters. One drive of a recent Tata car and its immediately apparent that the suspension has only been made to smoothen out potholes, with no intention to communicate through the steering. For the records, I have driven fun to drive cars with eroded steering and a missing gearknob, but still the old rusty E30 BMW maintained that its still quite driver focussed and very very engaging to drive.
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Old 6th December 2013, 14:33   #45
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Default Re: Tata Falcon hatchback, compact saloon to debut at 2014 Auto Expo

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Projector headlights! Won't that be a first in the segment?

I like the shape and quality of plastic used in the front grille. Mixed reaction to the boot treatment. Not sure whether it will gel well enough.
Projector headlights in a hatchback? If yes, then no, not a segment first.

The Fabia 1.4 petrol came with factory fit ones way back in Nov 2008. Recently launched Wagon R StingRay also sported projector headlights.
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