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Old 26th April 2013, 11:45   #1
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Default Experience the Tata Safari Storme on Off-Road Tracks in Mumbai

The Tata Motors Xtreme Drive kicks off in Mumbai today.

Participation is open to one and all. You'll have a chance to experience the Tata Safari Storme on specially designed off-road tracks across the city. The first experience will be held at the MMRDA Grounds, Bandra from April 26 - April 28, 2013.

The Tata Motors Xtreme Drive is made up of off-roading elements like the See-Saw, Bumble Bee, Bat Flight, Dwindler and Rumblers.

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Old 26th April 2013, 12:14   #2
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Default Re: Experience the Tata Safari Storme on Off-Road Tracks in Mumbai


This is a nice and unique way to promote the Storme.

The missing chrome exhaust tip Storme snap is getting famous.

Takes a leaf from Mahindra in some ways but this is to promote a specific model and on quite a wide scale, remains to be seen how much the dealers use this to get customers.
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Old 26th April 2013, 12:16   #3
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Default Re: Experience the Tata Safari Storme on Off-Road Tracks in Mumbai

wonderful initiative,

I am waiting for something similar at NCR.
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Old 13th May 2013, 15:26   #4
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Default Re: Experience the Tata Safari Storme on Off-Road Tracks in Mumbai

Last saturday, Allan and i decided to check out the Tata event.

Ofcourse we went there more out of curiosity to see how the track was made and how the event was conducted rather than to actually check the storme performance.

After we did the fortuner event, we wanted to see if we could improve / learn something new. Details of the fortuner event here:

First thing we did was to find out more details about the venue and timings. All we had was the pic GTO had attached. A google search showed the same information on different car blogs and auto magazine sites. No extra details on the tata webpage as well.

So we called the helpline number on the Tata site. They had no clue about the event and they said that they can send us a TD vehicle if we want.

Since i was at Allan's workshop in New Bombay, we decided to chance it and got directions to the venue via Google Maps and headed out.

Found the ground easily. There were no boards/signs about the Tata event happening on the main road pointing us to the venue.

When we entered, we saw a small barricaded area and 3 cars in the parking lot and probably 3 bystanders watching the proceedings.

Experience the Tata Safari Storme on Off-Road Tracks in Mumbai-001.jpg

We entered and came across a small shamiana which was the registration cum waiting area.

Experience the Tata Safari Storme on Off-Road Tracks in Mumbai-002.jpg

We were pleasantly surprised when they asked us if we wanted to drive the vehicle as well. So many events we've attended, no one has let us drive the vehicle except the experts themselves.

So we registered which basically was a form where we wrote our name, mobile number, license number and signature. Nothing more. We were given a brochure and a small water bottle and asked to wait.

We waited and saw the proceedings. There were 6 other people before us.

The obstacles consisted of:
- see saw ramp
- incline and decline ramp
- side incline
- articulating ramp
- series of rumblers

Experience the Tata Safari Storme on Off-Road Tracks in Mumbai-003.jpg

Experience the Tata Safari Storme on Off-Road Tracks in Mumbai-004.jpg

There was no briefing before the ride. When our turn came, doors were opened and we sat inside. We were told to belt up.

The ride started. Yes, i'd say ride cause i felt we were in a mela taking a ride rather than learning about the storme.

The instructor said: "we are in four low."

Then we came to the first obstacle the see saw. Did it without any explanation.

Then was the incline and decline. Here the instructor said "no brake or accelerator just the car goes up and down on its own."

Then the rumblers he floored it and said "superb suspension."

Next was the articulation ramp which we did in total silence.

The last one was the side incline where he took it up the side incline and stopped and said "see the car is stopped on side incline without any brake or accelerator input."

At this point, we introduced ourselves. We said that we were from the offroading fraternity.

When we mentioned that, we could see the completely bored out of his mind instructor give a hint of a smile. We then got chatting. He said he was form Cougar Motorsports and he is a 2 wheel rally driver. I think his name was Narendra and he was a very nice chap. Then Allan took the wheel and we chatted a bit more.

From what i gather, and strictly my personal opinion, is that Tata motors has completely messed up this wonderful marketing exercise.

For a company to do so many events in one city itself and repeat it so many times in multiple cities is credible. BUT, they completely failed to market it and cash on it. They could have made this into a big PR exercise.

Here's what they did right:
- multiple venues in multiple cities
- hired a professional group like Cougar Motorsports

Here's what they messed up:
- pathetic marketing
- wrong timing for the event. Summer time and vacation time. Hardly any people came. The instructors were bored to death. The crowd before us was not the crowd who would buy a 4 wheeler. No disrespect to them, they got a good experience but Tata completely missed out on the target audience due to poor marketing.
- no briefing prior to the experience. Even during the merc star drive, they make you wear the goggles and do a bit of marketing and briefing.
- hardly any explanation during the ride

Having said all this, kudos to Narendra (?) from Cougar Motorsports. On a hot saturday afternoon doing the drive for the full day to people who do not understand cars let alone offroading is not a small feet. In my book Cougar Motorsports deserves five stars and Tata gets just 2 for the initiative. During the drive, i was thinking, this is bad, no briefing / explanation at all but then we learned that many people who came for the drive had sat in an SUV for the first time. I can imagine how difficult a task it would be to explain to someone like this about 4WD and obstacles. Thus, in hindsight, i wouldn't blame the instructor for his at that time seeming indifferent attitude.

Even after the drive, we just walked out. No one from Tata was interested in getting feedback from us.

Last edited by Tejas@perioimpl : 13th May 2013 at 15:32. Reason: Corrected a few typos.
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Old 13th May 2013, 15:33   #5
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Default Re: Experience the Tata Safari Storme on Off-Road Tracks in Mumbai

For those who were driving the vehicles, it was a repeated exercise. Day-in & Day-out. Naturally they got bored. It is only when an off-roader gets in & engages them that they open up. Else the passenger is hardly going to appreciate the finer nuances.

In our case. Dhanush, Jeevan Narayanan & myself were there for the Terrapod. Not being an offroader, my view was limited. But Dhanush asked for more details, and the guy looked happy to explain & demo.
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Old 13th May 2013, 16:01   #6
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Default Re: Experience the Tata Safari Storme on Off-Road Tracks in Mumbai

A typical example of massive expense with a lot of background planning and ideation but poor execution on the front end.

Yep TATA has quality and reliability issues (frankly service is just the same or better than the competitors, but what has let them down in my view is the marketing. Especially the execution. For example this to me seems to be very good Idea and where it fails is in the getting the TG to attend and if the right TG does infact come in by fluke then it fails in giving that TG the attention it deserves.
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