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Old 14th July 2016, 10:29   #1
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Tata Motors aims for a top 3 spot in PV sales!

Homegrown auto giant and the largest Indian automobile company, Tata Motors, has firmly set it's eyes on reclaiming it's number 3 spot in the domestic passenger vehicle market, while being among the top three global commercial vehicle makers by this year-end.

While presenting the auto company’s 71st annual report to it's shareholders, chairman Cyrus Mistry stressed on the fact that new, significant launches by Tata Motors through the current year will be crucial for the auto major, while they pursue their ambition of making 2016-17 a milestone in terms of growth, great launches and transformation, while focusing on cost efficiencies.

Tata Motors has been riding a bad patch in the past 4 years, during which they saw their market share shrinking to a meager 4.6% in FY2015, from a strong 13% in FY2011.

But they have started FY2016 on a positive note, by improving their overall position to 4th (behind Maruti-Suzuki, Hyundai & Mahindra), by the strong showing of the Tiago hatchback and have been seeing robust, healthy growth numbers by it's subsidiary, Jaguar Land Rover. (link)

Recently, the company has decided to raise Rs 400 crores (link) to invest in product development and other innovations, even as it readies the Kite 5 sedan (codename), the Nexon compact SUV and the Hexa MPV for launches in the near future. The company has already promised to launch two new models every year till 2020.

Guenter Butschek, managing director and chief executive, Tata Motors:

We are working towards growing not just the top line but the bottom line as well. We aim to be among the top three globally in commercial vehicles and locally in passenger vehicles. Our plan includes developing new platforms with advanced technologies and improving the performance of existing ones. There is a deep focus on robust processes, cost efficiencies and people management. These initiatives will help us build a leaner, more agile organisation."
Business Standard

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Old 14th July 2016, 10:54   #2
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Re: Tata Motors aims for a top 3 spot in PV sales!

In other words, it wants to replace Mahindra for the No. 3 position.

Good to see that our top 2 Indian manufacturers are fighting it out to be the best.

It is actually quite easy for Tata to beat Mahindra considering that their recent products like the Bolt, Hexa, Zest & Tiago are actually better than the KUV1OO, Novosport and TUV3OO!

Where Mahindra has an advantage is brand perception and better A.S.S. and if Tata concentrates on these, they can easily be the No. 1!

Whereas Mahindra should give Tata a fierce fight by adapting to more mature designs, improving the quality and reliability. The recent issues with the AMT in the TUV3OO is not a good sign and can harm the reputation they built with the Scorpio and XUV5OO (even though the latter had niggles, mechanically it was sound). This is the exact mistake which TATA did some years back and now they are down on the top 10 charts.
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Old 14th July 2016, 11:21   #3
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Re: Tata Motors aims for a top 3 spot in PV sales!

They can. The recent crop of products, Zest onwards, seems to have exorcised the demons of poor product quality (PQ) which afflicted TML's reputation as a car maker, quite badly.

The Zest, Bolt, refreshed NANO, Tiago etc are genuinely competent cars in their respective segments and hopefully the other forthcoming products will be even better

After sales service has also improved a lot. Horror stories w.r.t. to TML Service stations have also reduced and most of them are making genuine attempts to improve their standards.

What TML needs to do now is "Perception - Management" . Speak to 10 prospective new car customers, and chances are 70% will not even have TML products in their consideration set.

Ask them why and the most of them will:
1. Recollect and tell you their past horror stories, (had they themselves been previous Tata owners, or even if they have not been - they will refer some friends' / relative's plight with TML)

2. Some will convey a "ho-hum" response, but the real reason is that they will never buy a Tata because the brand ranks low, very low in the snobbery stakes. You can't discuss a Tata vehicle in a "supposed" uppah' class gathering / cocktail do or dinner can you?

3. And there will be a small percentage who would not even have heard about the product

And perception management is the most difficult to address. Because we humans have minds. And once an unpleasant experience gets embedded into our l'il gray cells it becomes very difficult for it to get uprooted.

Maybe TML can get some of the branding wizards from their sister concern Titan? That is one company who i feel, have managed their brands fabulously & built up very good market credibility. Also their product management across different brands have been excellent - take for example Tanishq and its foray into the organised jewellery market. At least the limited number of people i know all swear by Tanishq and would not buy jewellery for their daughters & wives from anywhere else other than Tanishq.

The brand management expertise is already there, i feel, in - house, across group companies.
Instead of paying crores to consultancy firms,Cyrus Mistry maybe can request Ratan Tata, who in turn can play Big Daddy, and ask his other kids, (other group company/companies), to help out one of the brothers (TML), in distress and getting in place a structured brand revival plan.
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Old 14th July 2016, 11:58   #4
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Re: Tata Motors aims for a top 3 spot in PV sales!

I am not sure if they will be able to regain that spot or not, but one thing is sure that they are showing an intent to do something. The Zest and Bolt were the first two examples, the Bolt having flooped due to wrong pricing and Zest suffering only due to the negative publicity the car maker has garnered over the years. But with continuing efforts like the Tiago launch, they are finally coming in the limelight again. The car looks great and people are queuing up for it. More footfalls in the showroom also means that many of these customers will start looking at their other products like the Zest which is only marginally costlier than the Tiago and a very competent car in its own segment. Once the brand negativity evaporates from the customer's mind, there is no stopping Tata from gaining lost ground.
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Old 14th July 2016, 12:46   #5
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Re: Tata Motors aims for a top 3 spot in PV sales!

They need major training to their sales and service guys. The sales already think they are selling cheap cars and service treats every owner as a cab driver.

I thought Nano sales was due to bad marketing but add to that dealers dont want to sell Nano and they themselves treat Nano and Nano buyers cheap which is not going to help anyone wanting to buy anything from Tata.

Zest is a wonderful car. It feels premium from any garage and yet as a customer you are left with a decision at dealers if you are really buying a good car or a compromise for your money. The sales is pretty pathetic IMHO and if Tata can just train them to be proud about what they are selling things may change.

Zest door alone impressed me and it felt completely non TATA ever.
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Old 14th July 2016, 13:37   #6
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Re: Tata Motors aims for a top 3 spot in PV sales!

As someone who has previously owned not one, but two Tata Indicas (a 2001 pre-V2 1.4 NA DLE which was replaced by a 2007 V2 1.2 Xeta GLS) for nearly 14 long years in total, I hate to say the following.

However, it must be said for the benefit of Tata Motors themselves - Tata MUST end production of the Indicas & Indigos (and Sumos) as soon as possible. It's time to move on, even in the taxi/cab market. Tata are doing great harm to their brand equity by continuing to sell these three models (even if solely for taxi/cab buyers).

Don't want to believe me? Perfectly fine! But Tata simply cannot ignore what the general public feels.

There is this new competitor to Uber & Ola in my city, an app-based aggregator startup that has signed up 100 drivers with brand new cars (the majority of them being Nissan Sunny sedans).

In recent days, I have become a regular user of Uber (and an occasional user of Ola), thanks to the terrible parking woes in some of the places I frequent. Naturally, I signed up for this new aggregator kid on the block.

I'm yet to ride with Utoo, but happened to read a few comments while downloading the app.

It's about time Tata took note of public perception regarding their old workhorses (Indicas, Indigos & Sumos), if they want to achieve their stated goal of achieving a podium spot in the Indian market.

These are just a couple of comments from the Play Store with the names and photos of users blacked out:

Tata Motors aims for a top 3 spot in PV sales!-screenshot_20160714125731.jpg

Tata Motors aims for a top 3 spot in PV sales!-screenshot_20160714125322.jpg

If Tata were to do a public survey (but not on Team-BHP or other forums) on brand perception, they would immediately come to the conclusion that it's time to retire the Indicas, Indigos & Sumos.

Having said that, their new launches have shown that Tata are indeed on the right track! It will take a fairly long and arduous struggle, but I see no reason whatsoever why Tata cannot overtake Mahindra (while simultaneously holding off potential challengers like Honda and Renault) to claim the third spot on the podium.

They need to sustain and steadily accelerate the recent momentum they've built up with further launches like the Kite 5, Hexa, Nexon and Pelican, while gracefully retiring the old workhorses as soon as possible.

Good luck, Tata!

Last edited by RSR : 14th July 2016 at 13:52.
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Old 14th July 2016, 18:37   #7
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Re: Tata Motors aims for a top 3 spot in PV sales!

Looks like Tata Motors has taken this feedback regarding the after sales service aspect very seriously and is in the process of doing something about it.

ET reports that the domestic auto giant is revamping it's after sales & service strategies to improve customer satisfaction. A host of new initiatives including mobile vans, customer apps, special discounted spares, free check-ups and showroom upgrades have been introduced by the company.

Furthermore, the average service time will be be reduced to 60 minutes instead of 90 minutes and quality of service will be improved by taking feedback from customers and acting swiftly on them.

Also, the auto major is refurbishing 150 workshop front offices across the country and conducting 40-point comprehensive check-up camps for customers.

Service job cards are now available on apps on the Android and iOS platforms to cater to a customer's service history.

Tata Motors has also joined hands with Audatex - an American software that allows companies, insurers and customers to process insurance claims online, for processing serious body repair jobs in a matter of hours.

Spare parts availability is also being increased to 95% availability within 24 hours, and the costs of the parts are also being rationalised.

Dinesh Bhasin, head-customer support, passenger vehicle business unit, Tata Motors:

"The target is to bring down the average service time to 60 minutes from 90 minutes and improve quality of service through initiatives like recording customer complaints and reacting quickly to them.

We have also introduced mobile service vans in cities like Delhi, Pune, Mumbai and Bengaluru and serviced around 5,000-6,000 customers. Currently each van services 4 vehicles a day and we are planning to expand to reach customers directly at their doorstep.

We have introduced tech-related interventions like opening a service job card through the Tata Motors service app which is both Android and iOS compatible. The app also allows customers to upload their personal history so the workshop knows the vehicle's requirement history instantly.

Right now insurance claims for serious repairs like body shop repairs can take weeks but with Audatex it will be cut down to just hours. The customer can upload the insurance claim and the insurer can approve immediately. Audatex has been started in 100 locations so far.

The company is also rationalizing spare parts prices working on ensuring immediate availability of parts within a period of 24 hours from the service request. Currently we assure 95% availability within 24 hours and we want to raise that even further
In short, they are saying, "Look, we are improving. Give us a chance by buying our cars!"

Last edited by RavenAvi : 14th July 2016 at 18:41.
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Old 14th July 2016, 18:47   #8
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Re: Tata Motors aims for a top 3 spot in PV sales!

Tata Motors was a client in one of the companies I worked for. All said and done, in my opinion the company needed a generational overhaul. As soon as that comes (which is coming- TML hit rock bottom around 2005- 2008; its almost 10 years later now) and if past advantages of the company persists - make no mistake their sales will rocket. We are talking about one hell of an organization - that knows exactly how to rally and systematically implement the Indian jugaad in its most radiant form.
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Old 14th July 2016, 18:52   #9
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Re: Tata Motors aims for a top 3 spot in PV sales!

More power to Tata!

I hope someone in the powers-that-be is ballsy enough to take some drastic steps. Tata, as is evident through their various exercises in customer experience, has probably realized that perception is key. One part is having a good product, Tiago does that for you. The other, equally important, is the customer experience in ownership. This starts from something as basic as how the customer feels about owning a Tata, all the way to getting their Tata serviced.

Get rid of the Indica-Indigo-Indicab baggage and start afresh.

If they do a hard reset and worry about their offerings, rather than just revenue from selling their cars as cabs, their goal will just be easier to attain.
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Old 16th July 2016, 18:25   #10
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Re: Tata Motors aims for a top 3 spot in PV sales!

In it's relentless pursuit of reclaiming the number 3 spot this fiscal year, Tata Motors is now planning to raise Rs 3,000 crores in the next 12 months, reports ET.

The company will seek approval of shareholders to raise the sum at its upcoming AGM to be held on August 9.

"In continuation of its efforts to strengthen its capital structure, the company intends to augment the resources through a mix of internal accruals and long term borrowings," Tata Motors said in a letter to its shareholders.

The fund will be used for repayment of certain NCDs/term loans from banks and to fund part of the ongoing capital expenditure during the next 12 months as also for general corporate purposes, the company said.
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Old 17th July 2016, 11:17   #11
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Re: Tata Motors aims for a top 3 spot in PV sales!

Sorry for my contemptuous view, but it is one thing to be headed in the right direction and a whole another thing to actually move in the right direction at a reasonable pace.

I was happy to see that TML launched the customer service app. Downloaded it right away as soon as I read about it earlier in the thread. But now the app refuses to associate my car to itself saying the mobile number that I'm adding is incorrect. I can see on the app itself that they have my correct number in their system, and I'm entering it correctly too for authentication, but that's no good. The app seems to have been designed by a 6 year-old kid. It is fairly representative of what's going on in the company lately: the management makes the right decisions, but messes up the execution.

It's hard to convince someone who has gone through years of unreasonably atrocious service experiences again and again that things will now get better all of a sudden. Just yesterday, it took 45 minutes to get a job card opened for the Nano's servicing. Went in at 10, drove out at 2:45. For a simple oil/filters change.

On the bright side, avoiding visits to TASS has made my DIY skills very strong.

Last edited by Tanmay K : 17th July 2016 at 11:26.
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Old 17th July 2016, 18:56   #12
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I feel TATA needs to improve brand awareness and product awareness big time. People have long forgotten this brand. Just this afternoon i had a first hand experience.
I had been to meet one of my friends in my Nano AMT. That guy didn't even know that a Nano comes with an AMT as well. That's not the first time i have seen someone with mouth wide open in astonishment seeing an auto nano.
Similarly, still a lot of people don't know that zest comes in a diesel AMT avatar.
So, now that TATA has a lot of good products lined up, they need to:
1. Create awareness of their current and future offerings
2. Make cars as niggle free as possible
3. Maybe take a leaf from Mahindra on how to bring out products to market at the blink of an eye.
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Old 18th July 2016, 12:02   #13
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Re: Tata Motors aims for a top 3 spot in PV sales!

Similarly, still a lot of people don't know that zest comes in a diesel AMT avatar.

Agreed. The Zest is not getting the media attention it deserves. I feel Tata should have something like Nexa and move some of these good products under a different umbrella, have dedicated service lines and make it a pleasure to own the car.

Zest is very much under rated in the current market. I wish someone from Tata business reads this thread to realize the potential loss of customers due to poor market research, sales team and their pathetic front desk team or the dealers in other words.
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Old 18th July 2016, 12:17   #14
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Re: Tata Motors aims for a top 3 spot in PV sales!

Hi Everyone,

My first post here and what a better thread than the one about the company which manufactures The Safari- my childhood dream vehicle.

IMHO, Tata needs to move away from Indica and Indigo as soon as it can. Even their newer models (Kite, Tiago) look like long lost twins of the Indica. They can not sell a car which even remotely resembles the king of India's taxi market, to a private buyer. Moreover, Tata's after sales service and dealer network needs a complete overhaul.

It hurts me to see that despite being a true blue Indian company, Tata Motors is not able to adapt itself to Indian market conditions.
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Old 31st August 2016, 11:27   #15
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Re: Tata Motors aims for a top 3 spot in PV sales!

Came across this on todays TOI

Tata Motors MD & CEO Guenter Butschek did not mince words on poor faring of the company's passenger vehicles business as he blamed "legacy issues" and "non-performing" models for declining numbers, while admitting that Indian buyers are not keen to buy the homegrown automaker's vehicles.
I think Mr. Butschek has assessed the situation pretty well. Its nice to see someone at the top accepting problems and not being diplomatic about it. He doesnt mince any words.

"I have done a deep assessment of the situation. It cannot be disputed (that customers are reluctant to buy Tata's vehicles). It's a matter of fact. In the passenger vehicle segment, we are not on top of a potential customer's consideration list."
Butschek said there have been many reasons for poor performance, including "silo approach" in functioning and planning, lack of accountability and slow decision-making. Large number of vehicle platforms which are not required and inefficiencies in component supplier chain have also impacted the company's operations. "I did find legacy issues," he said, while pointing out that the company is looking to pull the plug on some of the non-performing models as part of a "holistic review" of operations across passenger and commercial vehicles. "A study has been initiated." Butschek also said the company had been lacking a coherent brand position. "Tata Motors does not enjoy a clearly-defined brand position or brand promise... To re-position the company, we need a clear brand promise. Also, we need to deliver on the brand promise."

He said that it will "take us a while" to turn around domestic operations, and return to profitability. On the brighter side, Butschek said the company has received a healthy response to its recently-launched hatchback Tiago. He hopes that future launches like mini sedan 'Kite 5', 'Hexa' cross-over and compact SUV 'Nexon' will help boost sales.
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