13th November 2010, 14:46
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| | Tata's Future plans
Tata Indica EV More Nano Variants , Smaller/ Compact , Cheaper JAG
The most keenly awaited electric car from the Tata Motors stable, the Indica Vista EV, will go into commercial production from the first quarter of 2011, said a senior official with Tata Motors European Research Centre (TMERC). |
Speaking at the SME conference organised by the Indian High Commission, Omar Hadded, director of marketing and commercialisation with TMERC said Vista EV will be targeted at international markets like the UK.
The price of Vista EV will benchmarked with industry standards and retailed at around £29,000, while the ACE EV will be priced at around £13,000-14,000. The Vista EV will get a UK government subsidy of £5,000 and would cost the end customer £24,000.
The electric version of an established car has been created in record time, considering Indica was first rolled out in 1998, until which Tata Motors had never made passenger vehicles. The TMERC was created only five years back, in part to fulfil the group’s commitment to produce environmentally friendly vehicles.
Vista EV will be a four seater with provision for luggage and will have a maximum speed of 70 miles an hour or around 110 kmph. It will meet all intertional safety standards with ABS and Li-ion super polymer batteries and a range of 160 km to run without recharge. Full recharge will be possible in eight hours.
The Vista EV had won two awards last weekend among future cars between Brighton (south of UK) and London for being the most economic passenger electric vehicles.
Tata Motors has an innovative plan, under which it will build upgraded versions of the Nano with larger engines and higher price tags. For Jaguar, the journey will be in the opposite direction: the marquee brand will have smaller engines and lower price tags. |
Tata Motors Managing Director & CEO Carl-Peter Forster told Business Standard that the company would not be doing the Nano justice if it remains just the “world’s cheapest car” and, hence, will look at all the “natural evolutions” of the Nano, including upgrades.
“While pushing the Nano as the cheapest car, its other values have been overlooked. It is an engineering marvel; it’s spacious, fuel efficient and has an interesting price-value equation. So, we will offer a wider range of options to our customers,” said Forster.
Elaborating on a smaller Jaguar, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) CEO Ralf Speth said price-sensitive models are necessary to attract younger buyers. The company is already working on models with 2-litre engines, instead of the current minimum 2.2 litres. These will be launched shortly, but the plan is to go down the price ladder further so that the car is available for new customer groups.
No decision has yet been taken whether these smaller Jaguar cars will be made in India. “The location isn’t important as long as we can protect the quality of brand Jaguar,” Speth said.
The plan also identifies global competitive benchmarks, which JLR has to match if not beat in terms of cost and efficiency at multiple locations around the world.
Both Jaguar and Land Rover portfolios will expand through a series of new segment entries that build on their design, performance and technology capabilities.
A new generation of lightweight sedans, sports cars and premium SUVs, with hybrids and electrification technology, will also significantly reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
On the availability of the Nano in overseas markets, Forster said the company will decide by next year in which countries the car would be manufactured. “We are looking at larger developing markets except China. In some of them, we will require government support and might go with a partner,” Forster said.
Forster acknowledged that Tata Motors’ biggest challenge now is to ensure the Nano is available to those for whom it was made in the first place. The car is available today without booking and will be available off the shelf by the end of this financial year.
The company is also talking with local financiers who know customers better. “We are learning as we go. We need different ways of marketing the car for customers, some of whom have never been inside a car,” added Forster.
The company is setting up touch points in small outlets, where customers can see and feel the car and get finance at reasonable rates. Forster acknowledged that the company will have to aggressively act as a bridge between financing agencies and Nano customers.
Ruling out the possibility of putting the Tata name on Jaguar cars as unnecessary, Forster said there are numerous areas where Tata Motors and JLR can work together. These could be common technology projects for JLR at the lower end and for Tata Motors at the upper end, electrification of power-trains, low-cost sourcing of components and common engine development. While there won’t be development of common platforms, the two brands can work on common car modules.
Source : BSM