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Old 27th February 2015, 14:55   #1
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Thumbs up Rumour: Tata Motors to launch performance brand. 120 BHP Bolt coming

Great news, guys! Looks like Tata motors will be launching India's first real hot hatch! Expected to come with wide bodywork, 17in wheels and 1.2 Revotron pumping 120bhp. Check out the news article below. I am very excited!

I vaguely remember reading about a performance brand during the Tata Expo, but looks like they are finally launching in Geneva.

http://indianautosblog.com/2015/02/t...-geneva-169736

Last edited by shimoo : 27th February 2015 at 14:57. Reason: More details
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Old 27th February 2015, 15:56   #2
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It will be the same story as always.

Indica Sport was a great looking car with 86hp, momo steering and some chrome pedals-Never launched.

Indica J.Anand- Had 115hp, roll cage, green air filter-Never launched.

Indica Vista S- Had 160hp and other similar goodies-Never launched.




Note: 'Indica Sport's have been sold out to general public. One resides in Mumbai. Has Aura wheels instead of the Sport ones. Has stock Indigo steering wheel (can't remember properly). Clearlens headlamps of V2's first facelift model. Has proper taillights instead of the Indicab ones. Had seen the car in 2008. Number is MH-01-MA-1201 (Not confirmed about the last two digits. Can 10 instead of 01).

Last edited by 300 KMPH : 27th February 2015 at 16:03.
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Old 27th February 2015, 18:08   #3
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Default re: Rumour: Tata Motors to launch performance brand. 120 BHP Bolt coming

^ man, I'd completely agree with you. First thing i thought was **flashback**



And then.. nothing.

And then.. semi-flashback again:


And then.. just another concept:


However, the only small difference this time is that they seem to be launching a performance brand. Maybe there's more promise there?

cya
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Last edited by Rehaan : 27th February 2015 at 18:11.
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Old 27th February 2015, 18:34   #4
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Default re: Rumour: Tata Motors to launch performance brand. 120 BHP Bolt coming

Not sure if this is the right thing to do. Tata is not doing great in past few years in passenger vehicles. A new brand needs a lot of investments and Tata management must have considered various aspects before proceeding with this. I personally however feel that there are various issues Tata needs to fix in current brand / models before opening a new front. Isn't it like trying to run before walking properly?
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Old 27th February 2015, 21:28   #5
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Default re: Rumour: Tata Motors to launch performance brand. 120 BHP Bolt coming

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Originally Posted by nug1 View Post
I personally however feel that there are various issues Tata needs to fix in current brand / models before opening a new front. Isn't it like trying to run before walking properly?
Agreed. This makes no sense.

I know atleast a couple of buyers in my circle who checked out the Zest, came away impressed and then bought a grand i10 because it offers total peace of mind for ownership even if the gearshift is manual.

There's so much potential that Tata's cars have had - be it even the Indica or the Visa/Manza - its always the quality / hassle free ownership / service experience that scares away prospective buyers.
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Old 27th February 2015, 22:13   #6
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Default re: Rumour: Tata Motors to launch performance brand. 120 BHP Bolt coming

If they are serious about performance, they could have tried using a prototype at an international motorsport event. A victory would have given them the best publicity.
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Old 28th February 2015, 09:28   #7
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Default re: Rumour: Tata Motors to launch performance brand. 120 BHP Bolt coming

What I'm wondering though- if the 1.2 Revotron is so capable, producing 120hp and all- couldn't TATA give a much more aggressive map for the sport mode on the Bolt and Zest. Say, a 10hp more than the City mode?

That would have been a huge draw, rather than launching another variant with 120hp. Anyways they are advertising the multi drive mode so much, this would have gone them more go to match the show.

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It will be the same story as always.
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Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
^ man, I'd completely agree with you. First thing i thought was **flashback**
Another flashback from an another brand-

We had rumours of the FIAT Multijet coming to India. Maruti beat them to it and the rest is history.

Now we finally are waiting for the big announcements from FIAT regarding the Punto TJet, Abarth etc. Looks like TATA will beat them to it.
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Old 28th February 2015, 12:00   #8
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Default re: Rumour: Tata Motors to launch performance brand. 120 BHP Bolt coming

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Originally Posted by nug1 View Post
... there are various issues Tata needs to fix in current brand / models before opening a new front.
My previous-post cynicism aside, I think that launching a new performance division is not going to make their existing cars suffer in any way.

In fact, their 'regular' cars might improve further because of this.


That said, we're also a fickle bunch. When the police launch a "wear your helmets" campaign, there'll always be a voice saying "I wish they'd concentrate on cracking down on drunken driving instead!". When they crack down on drunken driving, there'll be another voice saying "Forget the drunks, what about womens safety!" and so on.

So following that example, just 1 month back most Team-BHPians were almost unanimously pining after a hot hatch (Desperately wanted: A Hot Hatch for the Indian enthusiast).


Though rather different from a brand & build point of view, the Polo TSI / TDI have done rather well. There's no doubt a market here, and that's something Tata might be aiming towards in the long term (numbers). However, Tata's REAL problem is this...

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I know atleast a couple of buyers in my circle who checked out the Zest, came away impressed and then bought a grand i10 because it offers total peace of mind
...it's a BRAND PERCEPTION issue.

This performance division might also be a small step to help turn that around. Get people excited about Tatas, rather than just impressed by them. Then with that buzz (and hopefully improvements in reliability et al over time) that change will come.

As a customer who has nothing to lose - i say GO FOR IT TATA!! This is welcomed, and i just hope it actually happens this time.

cya
R

Last edited by Rehaan : 28th February 2015 at 12:03.
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Old 28th February 2015, 15:22   #9
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Default Re: Rumour: Tata Motors to launch performance brand. 120 BHP Bolt coming

Global biggies like Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Renault, Fiat & others have learned it the hard way = You can't fight head-on with Maruti & Hyundai in the hatchback space, offering a similar product at a similar price. Take a look at this chart of the top 20 cars in a market where hatchbacks make up 50% of sales:



There isn't a SINGLE hatchback from any other manufacturer. Maruti & Hyundai fiercely guard their turf and fight tooth & nail for market share.

The point I'm trying to drive home = To carve your space in the hatchback segment, you need a differentiator.

High-powered 'sporty' variants are an excellent differentiator, and I completely agree with this move. Lets also not forget that sales of the Polo GT twins have left VW pleasantly surprised. Sporty variants don't bring in volumes, but they carry f-a-t profit margins.

What I'm more concerned about is whether Tata can actually make a Bolt that will have an air of desirability around it (like the Polo GTs), and make enthusiasts line up with their chequebooks (errr, NEFT transfers).

Having 120 BHP isn't enough. It has to accelerate, steer & handle well. The brakes have to be awesome. The gearbox' shift quality has to be slick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nug1 View Post
I personally however feel that there are various issues Tata needs to fix in current brand / models before opening a new front. Isn't it like trying to run before walking properly?
Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
its always the quality / hassle free ownership / service experience that scares away prospective buyers.
How come no one whined about this when VW brought in the Polo GTs? Had VW overhauled their terrible dealerships overnight? Improved their shoddy after-sales service? Or magically fixed the DSG's reliability?

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Originally Posted by Nissan1180 View Post
If they are serious about performance, they could have tried using a prototype at an international motorsport event.
Please no! There is enough motorsport opportunity in India and God knows, Indian motorsport can use all the support it can get. If Tata wants to make a statement, do so in Indian motorsport, not international. Just like they are with the Prima truck racing championship.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
What I'm wondering though- if the 1.2 Revotron is so capable, producing 120hp and all- couldn't TATA give a much more aggressive map for the sport mode on the Bolt and Zest. Say, a 10hp more than the City mode?
I think it was restricted by the gearbox. Might also be them playing a conservative card since it was their first time out with a turbo-petrol.

Last edited by GTO : 28th February 2015 at 15:35.
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Old 28th February 2015, 20:54   #10
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Default Re: Rumour: Tata Motors to launch performance brand. 120 BHP Bolt coming

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Originally Posted by nug1 View Post
Not sure if this is the right thing to do. Tata is not doing great in past few years in passenger vehicles. A new brand needs a lot of investments and Tata management must have considered various aspects before proceeding with this. I personally however feel that there are various issues Tata needs to fix in current brand / models before opening a new front. Isn't it like trying to run before walking properly?
Well I would term it as plan B by Tata to get the desired visibility in the market. I am not sure that they will be able to garner numbers around the performance version but sure it will give the brand a great boost.

Tata needs to break the jinx in upper middle class & Young executives who are still reluctant to buy brand Tata. Zest & Bolt are contemporary products with good features still there are no numbers to show. No points in guessing they are targeting young executives and BHP numbers & futuristic styling can be a huge turner. The day they can get a bit of penetration among young and famous numbers will automatically flow.
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Old 28th February 2015, 23:41   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nug1 View Post
Not sure if this is the right thing to do. Tata is not doing great in past few years in passenger vehicles. A new brand needs a lot of investments and Tata management must have considered various aspects before proceeding with this. I personally however feel that there are various issues Tata needs to fix in current brand / models before opening a new front. Isn't it like trying to run before walking properly?
I don't agree here.

Like GTO mentioned, being a differentiator makes perfect sense in a dominated market. If Tata Motors can make an USP with this initiative, why not!

Investments?
Tatas can still very easily afford to buyout Maruti. But, knowing their business style, it's very unlikely.
They have d-e-e-p pockets and if they are sure of the strategy, dollars is not a problem for them!
With Mayank Pareek at their helm now, Tata has started to up its ante!!
Great going I say!
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Old 1st March 2015, 08:51   #12
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Performance and Tata? Sounds like Irish beef and hot coffee to me. So a performance brand under Tata?? Surprising, but also a very welcoming change. I like the sound of that!

Let's face it. Indians really don't have much choice when it comes to affordable performance. We can't blame Tata for trying then. But the problem is that us Indians are a tricky lot. We are a perceptive market. Our buying decisions are not only based on how we judge the car, but also on how others judge the car. Enthusiasts are immune to this trend, but only partly. So if Tata jacks up a Bolt with a powerful engine, better dynamics, and a bodykit, with a high asking price, it is bound to fail. What to do then?

Tata can learn a thing or two from Hyundai here. No! I'm not talking about the hassle free A.S.S and ownership experience. When Hyundai wanted to sell a car with luxury and performance that exceeded the conventional budget image that Hyundais are usually associated with, they had one problem - the price! It would have to be priced higher than any other Hyundai yet, but will people buy one over,say, a German tank? So the corporate big shots decided to have a pool party of brain storming sessions and voila! We have the Genesis! What they did was to invade the perceptive mentality of its prospective customers and positioned the Genesis as a sub brand which is inherently superior than its parent brand. And it worked!

So why can't Tata pull something similar out of the hat? They have the assets to do it. They have got the attention of the market with their new launches. Listen Tata! We already have enough and more budget hatches and sedans that give 25kpl and goes from 0-60 in like a lifetime. It's time us Indian petrol heads get something that goes from 0-60 in 7s and can put an evil grin on our face everytime we floor it. It's time we get a performance coupe that doesnt cost us our homes and kidneys to afford and run! (asking for too much, I guess) .

If you can find the guts to conceive for yourself something like what an Abarth is for Fiat, and nurture it here in India (read-local manufacturing), the enthusiasts will make sure that it will grow up to be like what AMG is for Mercedes!

Last edited by GKR9900 : 1st March 2015 at 08:53.
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Old 1st March 2015, 09:13   #13
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Default Re: Rumour: Tata Motors to launch performance brand. 120 BHP Bolt coming

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Tata can learn a thing or two from Hyundai here. No! I'm not talking about the hassle free A.S.S and ownership experience. When Hyundai wanted to sell a car with luxury and performance that exceeded the conventional budget image that Hyundais are usually associated with, they had one problem - the price! It would have to be priced higher than any other Hyundai yet, but will people buy one over,say, a German tank? So the corporate big shots decided to have a pool party of brain storming sessions and voila! We have the Genesis! What they did was to invade the perceptive mentality of its prospective customers and positioned the Genesis as a sub brand which is inherently superior than its parent brand. And it worked!
Yes, sub-brands can work if done correctly. And tons of car makers have done it, before hyundai - Toyota (Lexus, and Crown for Asian markets); Honda (Acura), Nissan (Infiniti). The idea is simple in that although we know it comes from the same manufacturer, it is supposed to be a different 'division'. A completely different team focused on luxury/performance as the case maybe.

I have always believed that tata should re brand their commercial vehicle division to help the car business. The fact is that even if tata maes a great car (Zest, bolt) it wouldn't sell in huge numbers since a lot of customers wouldn't want to be associated with a brand which sells tata aces and antiquated trucks. A performance brand now looks like a desperate move to change their image. If it has to work, they have to get everything right from the go, with major investments in motorsports (create something like the polo r cup?) to get some credibility.
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Old 1st March 2015, 11:26   #14
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Yes, sub-brands can work if done correctly. And tons of car makers have done it, before hyundai - Toyota (Lexus, and Crown for Asian markets); Honda (Acura), Nissan (Infiniti). The idea is simple in that although we know it comes from the same manufacturer, it is supposed to be a different 'division'. A completely different team focused on luxury/performance as the case maybe.



I have always believed that tata should re brand their commercial vehicle division to help the car business. The fact is that even if tata maes a great car (Zest, bolt) it wouldn't sell in huge numbers since a lot of customers wouldn't want to be associated with a brand which sells tata aces and antiquated trucks. A performance brand now looks like a desperate move to change their image. If it has to work, they have to get everything right from the go, with major investments in motorsports (create something like the polo r cup?) to get some credibility.

I disagree here with your viewpoint. By this logic both Mercedes and Volvo should not be sharing brand name and logo with their truck division.

Fundamentally there are things that never change in business. No matter what age we are living in or the extant technology. What matters is commitment to quality, reliability and ability to meet or exceed Customer expectations. Tata Motors has strayed from this (perhaps never adopted this philosophy in the first place) which is why they find themselves in the mess they are in now.

No shortcuts to lasting success.
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Old 1st March 2015, 12:49   #15
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Default Re: Rumour: Tata Motors to launch performance brand. 120 BHP Bolt coming

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Originally Posted by wantarangerover View Post

I have always believed that tata should re brand their commercial vehicle division to help the car business. The fact is that even if tata maes a great car (Zest, bolt) it wouldn't sell in huge numbers since a lot of customers wouldn't want to be associated with a brand which sells tata aces and antiquated trucks. A performance brand now looks like a desperate move to change their image. If it has to work, they have to get everything right from the go, with major investments in motorsports (create something like the polo r cup?) to get some credibility.
I don't agree. The biggest problem with Tata right now in this segment is the Indica gene which they JUST not are letting go even after knowing after knowing for decades that it's not cutting it with the personal car buyer.

When I look at a Bolt, being a Maruti customer, I get repelled (NO offence to anyone here, it's just my opinion). There should be something in the BOLT which should make a transformation sale for Tata from a Maruti, for that there needs to be a product which Maruti/Hyundai customers associate with.(since they share more than 50% Of the Market share in hatchbacks).

With the BOLT, I can't associate myself to the car, not it's driving dynamics, not its gearshift, nor its acceleration, nor the way it looks. It has nothing to offer which makes me go 'WOW MAN, this car is AWESOME'.

I will go back home to what I am comfortable with and that will get Maruti and Hyundai, repeat sales.

A performance brand will help Tata immensely, but the Indica gene vehicles are just not the platform for those.
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