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Old 14th October 2017, 08:21   #46
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Default Re: N Chandrasekaran: Every Tata Car - except Indica - is losing money

What TML management for sure understands is the risk of the JLR presence/current profitability allowing the domestic car business to be subsidised. Unless there are well assessed reasons why this subsidy will not be a permanent feature, economic value is being destroyed by the subsidy.

The thing with JLR is that for years to come it will not see India as a significant market for its products - that said, I don't know enough to call the future of JLR in the EV business compared to other players in it. JLR is a luxury car maker focusing on a market niche, the complete opposite of what the domestic business is seeking to be in its price competitive market.

Leaving therefore the EV side of things aside, the 9000 crore business of TML needs to be profitable on its own, after paying JLR the fair market price for whatever services it draws from JLR from time to time. Every company that runs product divisions/SBUs knows these first principles, and while TML India may not be a car company, the group management is well versed with these management principles.

PS: To the comment about the dicky being ruined - this is a crumple zone at work. If the dicky was to be undisturbed, it would be so by transferring all the impact energy to the passenger inside the passenger cell, ruining him via whiplash or worse instead. The point being made here is not to judge the safety of the car by how it looks after an accident. Crash tests don't do that, their designers know these fundamental principles used in car design. Of course at higher speeds everything gets ruined, that should be obvious to anybody.

Last edited by Sawyer : 14th October 2017 at 08:32.
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Old 14th October 2017, 09:01   #47
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Default Re: N Chandrasekaran: Every Tata Car - except Indica - is losing money

Maybe the time has come for Tata to take a drastic revamp. Their current crop of cars are not bad (quite good) but the QC and image woes remain. Maybe they need a new badge for the cars they make.
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Old 14th October 2017, 10:02   #48
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Default Re: N Chandrasekaran: Every Tata Car - except Indica - is losing money

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Originally Posted by Nissan1180 View Post
While everyone can have an opinion, it would be wise to share that only when you're sure that your opinion corresponds to a fact. I cannot fathom why you have been singularly insistent on ridiculing the Nano, a car that had 34 patents registered during the development phase, a car that redefined cost cutting strategies for every manufactuer in the country. I'm not saying this because I have one- I'm saying this because I'm an engineer and it hurts me to see the most practical urban transport product in India be ridiculed in such inglorious terms by an Indian. The Bajaj Qute was a quadricycle. The Reva (original one) was a quadricycle. The Nano is a proper car. You may not like it, but please don't discredit it in a way that's unbecoming of a member of this forum.
@Nissan1180, you seem to be upset. I don't like getting into slanging matches so please keep the emotions and personal comments in check and focus on the real thing that determines if a car should continue in production or not - sales.

No matter what patents the Nano won during its development at the end of the day, does the volume of sales justify continuing production of the Nano? As I said earlier, I am a former customer of TML and voice my opinion based on what I see, hear and have experienced in person AND from my friends and family. Yes a large majority of their products do have great plus points but overall I expect the Indian auto giant called TML to up their game and compete with the rest - we Indians are capable of much, much more. And for the record I do NOT dislike the Nano, but want a better and more reliable solution for the urban commute than the one TML have provided us. I actually wanted to buy one for my wife but had second thoughts after seeing the car has a 'fiery' disposition. Previous experience with TML (expounded below) did not serve to build confidence in me or my wife.

Quote:
Coming back to your points about Toyota- well, a ride in an Etios cab will show you how much the company respects Indian life and money. My dad met with an accident in his office cab- a low speed rear collision with a Swift ruined the entire dickey.
Is that because the boot is a part of the crumple zone? Was the Etios a hatch or a 3 box? You may want to review these crash test ratings of the Toyota Etios and Maruti Swift. Hope they are factual enough for you.

NCAP Ratings Jun '17

Maruti Swift NCAP rating

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Service experience is relative. I keep repeating that I've had a better time in TASS than MASS or the Hyundai showroom. But not many believe it, so I'll leave it at that.
As I said somewhere else before on this thread. As a former TML customer my family has experienced first hand TML's dedication to customer satisfaction and I also said they try very hard. But that's not good enough if your product(s) are 'buggy' (as they say in my software/computer engineering line) to begin with. At the root of TMLs problems is the lackadaisical approach to quality as a key component of their production process.

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Reliability comes with experience. The first generation Hyundai cars were a joke in the US. Today, the company has about 5% of that market. To me, selling unsafe and cut-price products made from poor quality steel is a bigger crime than making a customer wait for a few extra hours to get his car cleaned at the service center.
I had worked in and visited the US long enough to know what Hyundais were considered to be, and across the pond in the UK where Tata products were being sold at the same time. If Hyundai have upped their game in the largest auto market in the world, that begs the question why hasn't TML?

Since you think I am biased let me tell what I thought of my family's Tata Safari:

a) Solid build, my family and I felt safe in it
b) Great AC
c) Reliable 2L turbo diesel engine that would soldier on for lakhs for kms provided one kept pace with its idiosyncrasies
b) The local dealer's eagerness to keep the customer happy. Parts replaced without a second thought whilst in warranty. That's a good thing and bad.

Along with the +ves there were a bunch of negatives but it was the brake system failure that occured BEFORE we touched the Mumbai-Pune expressway that did it for us. Felt sad to see the car go (it was <2.5 years old) but after that there have been no and will be no TML products in the family.

Last edited by R2D2 : 14th October 2017 at 10:15. Reason: Added sentence & corrected typos
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Old 14th October 2017, 11:55   #49
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Default Re: N Chandrasekaran: Every Tata Car - except Indica - is losing money

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Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
No matter what patents the Nano won during its development at the end of the day, does the volume of sales justify continuing production of the Nano?
As a very satisfied user/owner of a 2013 Nano, I have to still say no, it does not. Some of us like the car, clearly, but the market numbers say that a lot more do not. In some ways I am happy about this because I won't ever see myself coming and going in large numbers on the road and I have also discovered that the little car needs just as little by way of after sales support, so I expect little trouble even if TML was to shut down production. But I was a Hexa owner in the same boat, I would worry.

But the thing is to not take this personally - it is just a car! I remember thinking this here in my first thread here in 2009 predicting the rapid demise of the just launched Punto, when the consequent flames from all the Fiat enthusiasts led to that thread being shut down in a hurry.

We don't also realise that this forum represents a very small fraction of the Indian car buying public and much of what we discuss here is not picked up by it. It has its own way of assessing the worth of a car and who is to say that it is wrong? Not I; the public at large is wiser than we tend to believe, particularly when it comes to spending its hard earned money.

Last edited by Sawyer : 14th October 2017 at 11:57.
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Old 14th October 2017, 12:32   #50
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Default Re: N Chandrasekaran: Every Tata Car - except Indica - is losing money

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Originally Posted by Sawyer View Post
As a very satisfied user/owner of a 2013 Nano, I have to still say no, it does not. Some of us like the car, clearly, but the market numbers say that a lot more do not. In some ways I am happy about this because I won't ever see myself coming and going in large numbers on the road and I have also discovered that the little car needs just as little by way of after sales support, so I expect little trouble even if TML was to shut down production. But I was a Hexa owner in the same boat, I would worry.
Thing is as an Indian and a person who saw TML close up a long time ago, I so wish they produce something that I could be really proud of. The Hexa is a handsome car and one of the best looking SUVs on the road today. I honestly like it and truly hope they've ironed out whatever shortfalls they had in their QC/QA. But will I plonk 15-20 big ones on this car? The honest answer is I still am not sure.

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But the thing is to not take this personally - it is just a car! I remember thinking this here in my first thread here in 2009 predicting the rapid demise of the just launched Punto, when the consequent flames from all the Fiat enthusiasts led to that thread being shut down in a hurry.
Agreed, and I'd be just as happy to bash Toyota or Honda or Maruti, BMW, Mercedes. My current 'pet' car maker is VW/Audi. Thing is, I am not a "fan boy" of ANY marque. If car manufacturers don't satisfy us as customers then we should call them out. BTW I have a Fiat Palio 1.6, another long and less than satisfactory ownership experience but that is a tale which would be off topic for this thread.

Quote:
We don't also realise that this forum represents a very small fraction of the Indian car buying public and much of what we discuss here is not picked up by it. It has its own way of assessing the worth of a car and who is to say that it is wrong? Not I; the public at large is wiser than we tend to believe, particularly when it comes to spending its hard earned money.
Yes agreed, we BHPians are a small minority whose enthusiasm and attachment for our vehicles isn't shared by most owners who treat their vehicles as 'transport tools' created to serve a purpose. I know some folks who look upon their cars with the same enthusiasm that I do a spanner or screwdriver.
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Old 14th October 2017, 12:42   #51
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Default Re: N Chandrasekaran: Every Tata Car - except Indica - is losing money

I don't buy big cars anymore; my son is close to getting himself his first new car - the new 1.8 TSI Octavia and I am aghast at his choice. He knows the Skoda issues, including the iffy DSG/battery/other things, so I keep hammering away at that till hopefully he sees the light.

Actually, the top line autobox diesel Hexa would suit him very well for his frequent drives to Mumbai and Goa, but I can see his reaction if/when I suggest that to him. That is the harm TML has done themselves in 20 years in the Indian auto market - to be seen with the same distrust as Skoda and Fiat - he ruled out Compass in about 15 seconds of hearing the word Fiat. We bought the first 1.6 GTX Palio that was launched in Pune in 2001, when he was getting to know cars.

Last edited by Sawyer : 14th October 2017 at 12:45.
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Old 14th October 2017, 13:33   #52
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Default Re: N Chandrasekaran: Every Tata Car - except Indica - is losing money

I am not sure if this is a feasible strategy long term -
Tata had a shot 20 years ago when only Maruti and Tata had a strong local manufacturing with heavy localization. They tata could actually compete on price
Now that several players have strong local manufacturing and heavy localization, Price is not a factor. And the other players have bigger volumes than tata. Imagine if tata is able to get maruti level volumes in india (hard to think of, but lets do that hypothetically). The other players have access to Tier 1 Global Markets like UK, Japan, Germany, US etc. Tata has some distribution in some Tier 2 Global markets like the SAARC countries, SA, Poland etc. Assume that their product development costs are low due to access to cheap indian talent (debatable since many players, such as Maruti have their own Indian capability, and A lot of tata capability is in the UK which is not cheap). Can those volumes be enough to beat the global majors? I am trying to build a high level business case in my head, and the only way it can work out is if they have massively low costs - debatable as, they do not have maruti's choke hold on vendors, or Ford's cost cutting chops. The other way is significantly higher volumes - volumes which I am not sure will be achievable in their current markets (even theoretically). So I wonder what is their end game ?
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Old 14th October 2017, 14:37   #53
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Originally Posted by greenhorn
I am not sure if this is a feasible strategy long term -
So I wonder what is their end game ?
They are biding time till their next platform comes online. And they can take advantages of economies of scale and churn out a hatch, compact sedan, mid size sedan, compact suv, estate/muv from the same platform. They are playing the guerrilla warfare game. Time, space and will. Taking small victories as they come, and not giving up. Even though the Shareholders, managers, employees, partners, dealers, customers have to live in shared misery in the hopes of a better future.

Hence the use of Ratan Tata's name and appeal to emotions to stay relevant while churning out outdated and unprofitable models. And replacing them with new models one by one. Baby steps...

The Global majors are investing in the next level in transport technology . Automation and electric. JLR is also investing in these technologies. But Indian automotive industry(and other third world countries) is destined to use Internal combustion engines/hybrids for the next 15 years atleast. This is the battle where Tata motors stands a chance at volumes. The components suppliers are beginning to compete on a global stage and are increasing their capacities and technology to become suppliers to global companies. All the ingredients are in place for Tata to succeed. They just need to hit it out of the park with their product launches.

Last edited by drsingh : 14th October 2017 at 14:49.
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Old 14th October 2017, 15:37   #54
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Default Re: N Chandrasekaran: Every Tata Car - except Indica - is losing money

Some years back we had a thread regarding increasing Nano reach/sales. Karl Slym stint, then Mistry issue & now everything is out in public domain of TM PV performance.

Tata's competitor are a group of lean mean fighting machine & highly agile in product development & go to Market strategy.
Is TM alone bearing the brunt no Chevrolet is already out.

Companies/products have a life cycle, and as rightly pointed by Mr. Mistry, Nano is still there for attachment by Mr Tata.

If MSIL can create Nexa showrooms, what stops TM from copying this strategy for Nexon and other upcoming launches.
Since TM is in a fighting mode no one got this plan to better the purchase experience.

The writing is on the wall for long & "Going to the mattresses," from the Godfather movie the only option.
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Old 14th October 2017, 16:30   #55
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Default Re: N Chandrasekaran: Every Tata Car - except Indica - is losing money

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Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
@Nissan1180, you seem to be upset. I don't like getting into slanging matches so please keep the emotions and personal comments in check and focus on the real thing that determines if a car should continue in production or not - sales.
If you really think that what I wrote was reflecting my emotions, I'm sorry. I'm neither an employee nor a supplier for the company and I have nothing to do with its success or failure. Sales do not determine the value of a car. In India, the Omni still manages to sell thousands of units in a month even though it is a car that chickens would not be transported in if it were a country with regulations. But that's your thought process, and I'm no one to recommend that you change it.

Coming back to the Etios, let me be clear. I know what crumple Zones are and what they're for. What I also know is that crumple zones are dependent on the strength of metal that's used, and the extent to which they deform depends on the strength of the impact. A Vento would deform much less than an Etios under the same conditions. But I'll not argue about this as well- opinions are a personal matter as I said earlier, and I'll stop posting messages which might appear to be to some readers.

Coming back to your experience with the Safari, I know how it feels. I've had the same with the old Nano. With the new Twist, my experience has been better than what I've seen with our XCent or Baleno (2006). As I said earlier, service is subjective. The fact that Tata has improved will not be acknowledged by most, but I've experienced it first hand.

I request moderators to delete this post if it is . Thanks.
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Old 14th October 2017, 17:15   #56
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Default Re: N Chandrasekaran: Every Tata Car - except Indica - is losing money

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Originally Posted by Nissan1180 View Post
If you really think that what I wrote was reflecting my emotions, I'm sorry. I'm neither an employee nor a supplier for the company and I have nothing to do with its success or failure. Sales do not determine the value of a car. In India, the Omni still manages to sell thousands of units in a month even though it is a car that chickens would not be transported in if it were a country with regulations. But that's your thought process, and I'm no one to recommend that you change it.
Nissan1180, I think the question was if the production of the Nano should be stopped based on its sales in the market. And to me the bone of contention has been the continuing production of a vehicle that has literally bombed in the market when funds could be diverted elsewhere. How TML diverts or uses its funds is not my concern but I am hoping they'd be a little forward looking in this matter.

On the other hand and rather amusingly the bread-box like Maruti Omni is possibly the worst when it comes to safety but MSIL continue to produce it since it sells. It is disappointing when we the people continue to buy an unsafe product. But Indian customers are hardly the most "safety conscious" of customers or even commuters.

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Coming back to the Etios, let me be clear. I know what crumple Zones are and what they're for. What I also know is that crumple zones are dependent on the strength of metal that's used, and the extent to which they deform depends on the strength of the impact. A Vento would deform much less than an Etios under the same conditions.
I am no automobile chassis designer but I believe not just the strength of the material but the design of the crumple zones that also matter. Wouldn't that be correct?

And you are right, a Vento certainly performs better in the crash test ratings than an Etios as it should. Made-in-India Volkswagen Vento Scores 5 Stars

It's better built and is also a car that is in a higher (C2) segment than the Etios (C1). And as a result it also costs more. The point is the Etios certainly looks and feels tinny but, surprise! It can protect its occupants far better than most would assume by simply looking at the car.

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Coming back to your experience with the Safari, I know how it feels. I've had the same with the old Nano. With the new Twist, my experience has been better than what I've seen with our XCent or Baleno (2006). The fact that Tata has improved will not be acknowledged by most, but I've experienced it first hand.
Tata's after sales service is pretty good and dare I say far better than most people expect it to be given their 'image' as a CV manufacturer.

Once again this is from 1st hand experience albeit a long time ago. The Safari could have killed us. The brake system failure was traced to the front left brake caliper and a hydraulic brake hose that actually came off. It was a close call. The car was parked, the nearest Mumbai based TML dealer towed it back to their workshop where they changed the brake hose and caliper, drained and refilled the system before testing it. Took them a day and a half to get the warranty replacements cleared by TML. My brother stayed back in Mumbai, collected the car once it was repaired. It took some really deep thinking before we decided to sell it. The shock of being let down by a critical part like the brakes on an approximately 2 year old car was a bit too much to assimilate. It was sold some months later.

Guess who missed that car the most? It was me.

PS - One of my best mates from school has been on the production engineering team in TML's Pune plant since 1991. I get to hear interesting stories during the occasions when we meet up. Met with him mid Sept this year and all he said is they are under a lot of stress. Things are changing at TML. Not visible immediately but it hopefully will result in a better company. As an Indian I'd be mighty pleased if TML produce a world class vehicle.

Last edited by R2D2 : 14th October 2017 at 17:19.
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Old 14th October 2017, 21:10   #57
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Default Re: N Chandrasekaran: Every Tata Car - except Indica - is losing money

Do all the Tata fans - no offence intended - realise or remember how much mass enthusiasm, even hysteria, that TML generated twice? Once for the Indica launch in 1998 and then again in 2008 for the Nano launch.

The only other cars I can recall that moved the public as much were the original Maruti 800 and the Fiat Uno.

Maruti built on that first response and went from strength to strength.

Tata/Fiat did not. In some cases, the public was cheated of their money.

Who is to blame for the general market responses to these companies now? The company or the public? So those of us with long memories need to be understood for not being willing to jettison these without a lot of due diligence. And the companies dare not expect to be excused from being held to higher standards than others, given this poor track record.
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Old 14th October 2017, 23:01   #58
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Default Re: N Chandrasekaran: Every Tata Car - except Indica - is losing money

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What was your running like? Our Honda city crossed the 29K INR by 5th service, I believe.
In some years, the running was high (more than 15k) and in some years it was low. The pattern was not linear.
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Old 16th October 2017, 11:40   #59
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Default Re: N Chandrasekaran: Every Tata Car - except Indica - is losing money

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Originally Posted by Sawyer View Post
Do all the Tata fans - no offence intended - realise or remember how much mass enthusiasm, even hysteria, that TML generated twice? Once for the Indica launch in 1998 and then again in 2008 for the Nano launch.

Tata/Fiat did not. In some cases, the public was cheated of their money.
I'd say that the Indica was the first Non-Maruti car that managed the kind of success that it did. Note that it still sells in acceptable numbers & the numbers it has amassed across its versions (v1, v2, eV2, CS) since launch are respectable to say the least.
As a first monocoque passenger car from the brand, it was and is a wonderful product.

Not able to recollect an example where TML cheated customers though.
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Old 16th October 2017, 11:58   #60
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Default Re: N Chandrasekaran: Every Tata Car - except Indica - is losing money

Perhaps someone can come up with some statistics that show the progress made by Mahindra & Mahindra compared to what Tata has been twiddling around. Tata had come up with the Sumo and could have had a headstart in the SUV race. They kept sticking to the Sumo and revamping the Safari. Perhaps they tried with the Aria, but meanwhile M&M started running away with the Scorpio and then the XUV. At least, the brand value is now quite different than what it used to be years ago.

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Originally Posted by Sawyer View Post
Do all the Tata fans - no offence intended - realise or remember how much mass enthusiasm, even hysteria, that TML generated twice? Once for the Indica launch in 1998 and then again in 2008 for the Nano launch
So, by bringing that series forward we should expect something huge from Tata in 2018?
Edit: Huge in terms of enthusiasm; not necessarily size of the vehicle
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