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Old 19th June 2022, 22:13   #1
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Default Chink in Tata Motors 3.0 armour

Chink in Tata Motors 3.0 armour

Tata Motors passenger vehicle journey had many phases of growth and de-growth, and each phase was different, as the Indian passenger vehicle market grew and matured over time with a huge influx of varied competition from time to time. This journey can be broken down broadly into three phases since inception.

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Tata Motors 1.0 – The beginning

In those days Tata Motors was known as TELCO (Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company), and the first passenger vehicle product launched was Tata Sierra – a two door SUV with design inspiration from then Mercedes Benz. That was offered with many first in segment (actually they were the newly created segment) – front power windows, power steering with tilt function, AC as standard. Tata Sierra achieved very limited success owing to 2-door configuration. Later in the product-life-cycle Sierra was exported to the UK market and sold by the name of ‘Gurkha’. Next launch in the series was Tata Estate in 1992, inspired by the Mercedes Benz E-Class station wagon, which was a sales disaster. So the products were path breaking in those days but were poorly made. The big breakthrough came with the launch of Sumo, named after Sumant Moolgaokar – former head of TELCO. Overall looks and silhouette was inspired from Mercedes G-Wagon, and presented to the Indian audience as MPV. Sumo did quite well for itself till Mahindra launched new Bolero (2002) and Toyota launched Qualis (2000).

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Tata Motors 2.0 – New growth trajectory

The next leg of the passenger vehicle journey started with an SUV called Safari and a big-small car project which was launched by the name of Indica. Ratan Tata was quite obsessed with pre pre-liberalization car era when Tata Motors (TELCO) was not allowed to make passenger cars, and Hindustan Motors and Maruti were having good times. So as per media reports, he asked his team to make a car with in-cabin size of Hindustan Motors Ambassador and at the price of Maruti 800. End result was Tata Indica launched in 1998 and later went on sale in 1999. Tata Safari found space in the hearts of politicians and customers who wanted to show off muscle power but Indica initially brought huge losses to the company. Newer and improved version of Indica also known as V2 later sold in masses and also became the second best-selling car as well. Then came the line extension of Indica – Indigo (sedan), Indigo Marina (station wagon) and finally - Indigo CS (stubby 4m-sedan). Indigo Marina also happens to be the only successful station wagon in India, but not for long.

All the vehicles were having common attributes which went soon to become a dislike from initial like – they were cheap and they felt that way. That earned the brand a bad reputation in the market.

Tata Motors 2.5 – Disastrous next generation and new product launch

Successor or new generation of Indica, Indigo and Sumo were launched around 2008. Manza and Vista were the successor of Indigo and Indica respectively. Design language was more evolutionary in nature and both continued with typical traits of poor quality, niggles, rattles, which even their brand loyalists were fed up off. End result - both were sales disasters.

Radically styled Sumo rechristened as Grande, with upmarket pricing was rejected by the market. Much hyped small car with big on space – Nano - was again a sales disaster, as Ratan Tata had cost conscious buyers in mind for this project, whereas Indian customers turned out to be value conscious. Cheap tag affects the emotional value, and Nano wasn’t really cheap either, if the Maruti 800 is taken as a benchmark.

On one side Tata launched the cheapest car and on the other side came up with a crossover – part MUV part SUV - more expensive than Toyota’s best seller Innova, and quality level of elevated Indica, well no reward in guessing that it was another flop.

New generation Tata Safari (Storme) carried over a lot of older generation side panels and somehow became more sissy looking from front and rear, so customers took their business to more mean and angry looking refreshed Mahindra Scorpio. In the age of integrated audio system, then, Tata Motors product manager just provided a single-din aftermarket audio system, what an apathy. So nothing was going well for Tata Motors then, like any other carmakers, it was also their fault, to poorly judge the Indian market and introduce stinking products.

Tata Motors 2.85 – Survival

2012 witnessed a change in guards at the helm of Tata Motors. Karl Slym, an Expat from the passenger vehicle industry was hired as MD of Tata Motors. This was a departure from earlier appointments of MDs which usually comes from Tata Motors’ commercial vehicle division. Ratan Tata also passed the chairmanship baton to Cyrus Mistry.

What Cyrus Mistry inherited was ailing product line and baggage of legacy Tata Motors was carrying also labelled as bureaucracy in the private world. Karl Slym charted a new strategy for Tata Motors passenger vehicle division branded as Horizonext, to make Tata Motors future ready. Untimely demise of Karl Slym led to a shift of burden of running Tata Motors on the then Chairman Cyrus Mistry, along with managing the whole Tata empire.

Under survival strategy Zest and Bolt were launched. Zest was a sub-4m version of failed Indigo Manza and Bolt was reworked Indica Vista. Design language was given a little makeover and the interior was spruced up. Zest did relatively well but Bolt struggled.

Tata Motors 3.0 – Reinvent

Since all the products launched by Tata Motors after 2008 were rejected by the Indian audience, Tata Motors has to go back to the drawing board and chart a new product roadmap. This was the beginning of Cyrus Mistry era when he wanted to discontinue Nano, pet but failed project of Ratan Tata. First new product launch was Tiago, more as a successor of Indica in the market. Tiago was having a big burden to resurrect Tata Motors and a complete brand makeover. And it did well what it was meant to be. Highly improved interiors and overall build was a departure from old age Tata products.

By the end of 2016 Cyrus Mistry was pushed out of the Tata Empire in a bitter public feud. By that time a makeover of Tata Motors was done and products developed under Cyrus Mistry’s leadership have had a profound effect till today. Hexa launched in 2017 was a completely overhauled Aria. Though not many remember Aria for good reasons, but many have good memories and liking for the Hexa even today. All new Nexon crossovers launched in 2017 put the Tata Motors back on sales growth trajectory, and safety was made a new core value for Tata products. Tigor was not very successful due to notchback styling and limited cabin space.

Harrier was a big launch based on the much touted new platform borrowed from Land Rover. However, sales were lukewarm in the absence of panoramic sunroof in the beginning. Engine power upgrade, automatic transmission option, panoramic sunroof and electric driver seat came in the BS6 era, and sales picked up thereafter. Non-sunroof and manual transmission variants continued to sell at a discount. Party was spoiled by the entry of feature loaded internet car - MG Hector - launched in 2019. Later Altroz, Harrier, Nexon EV and Punch were launched and helped Tata Motors to gain lost ground since its downfall in 2012. Credit for this should go where it is due – leadership and vision of Cyrus Mistry.

All the Tata Motors 3.0 products have one thing in common – better material quality and better GNCAP crash safety standard (except for Harrier and Safari). In recent time Tata Motors have also made quite good progress in the nascent BEV segment with Nexon EV and new heart transplanted Tigor EV, and showcased future BEV concept along with the roadmap. So does all this make Tata Motors future ready?

Chink in Tata Motors 3.0 armour

Well, design, material usage and chassis is something that Tata Motors have made its core strength during the course of time but they are lagging in cockpit, drivetrain and headlamp technologies where other manufactures are way ahead. Since Mahindra roped in their chief designer, and also aced in the safety department, has left Tata Motors vulnerable as Mahindra is focusing big time on other futuristic technology as demonstrated in XUV 700.

Safari & Harrier

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Let us start with the flagship products of Tata Motors. MG has been selling more Hectors in India than Harrier since 2019. Despite being relatively new, Harrier and Safari both come with a loyalty bonus of ₹ 40,000, but there is no discount on Hector which has same diesel engine offering. Recently launched XUV700, despite supply side constraint, has captured more market share than Harrier and Safari combined. That show that everything is not good for Tata Motors 3.0, so let us explore technology areas where Tata’s flagship products are really weak.

Cockpit

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A Chinese company with a portrait oriented large screen has surprised everyone one in the market back then in 2019. In 2021 Mahindra has again surprised everyone with the new tech focused cockpit in XUV 700. Both simply had wow factor and became a customer magnet, besides several other factors. In this company Hyundai Alcazar too has a very modern and tech heavy cockpit. In this race Tata now seems to be left far behind.

Instrument cluster

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Mahindra and Hyundai offer the best instrument cluster experience. They have also integrated side cameras feeds for blind spot monitoring which activates with turn signal input. They switch sides with turn indicator direction in a very seamless manner without any lag. That is the wow factor. Hector’s color MID was seemingly futuristic in 2019, but now it pales in front of Mahindra and Hyundai’s offering. And Tata’s flagship products have to live with even more boring ones for now.

Infotainment system

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10” portrait touch screen with several voice command systems was the trump card that established MG in India. But here again Mahindra and Hyundai now have a wow factor with brilliant interface units. Tata’s unit in this race looks very outdated.

360 camera and ADAS

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Everyone offers 360 cameras set up in this segment except for Tata. Hyundai’s camera resolution seems to be best in segment and MG's are a little blurred. Mahindra has gone a little farther and enabled the front camera to record and store feed in built-in storage. Now that’s cool. ADAS is something which gives Mahindra an edge over others for now. But MG also has this solution already available on other products in India, and it is just a matter of time when they introduce it on Hector. Tata has none of those!

Headlamp technology

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Everyone has moved to LED reflector based technology for headlamps. Except for Tata - stuck with old xenon-halogen combination.

Drivetrain technology

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Mahindra again amazed everyone with a more powerful in-house diesel engine, with a choice of automatic. Performance is certainly best in class and also has an AWD version as an option. Tata is living with an engine bought from FCA mated to 6-speed automatic transmission from rival Hyundai. This way Tata doesn’t have competitive advantage, and as per reports, it is the very reason Tata’s product in this segment hasn’t been sent for GNCAP crash testing. This is what happens when investment is compromised in key technology and competency areas – propulsion systems. If Hyundai plonks in a beautiful 2L CRDI and 8-AT from the current Tucson, similar to (boring) 2L petrol one, then that would be the best combination in this segment – wishful thinking.

Nexon

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Segment is fast growing and overly crowded. After loss of diesel engine in BS6 era, Maruti has lost considerable segment share and now is reduced to 26%, along with Toyota Urban Cruiser. Tata Nexon with a single product has captured 26% share in this year, partly contributed by Nexon EV. Hyundai-KIA together commands the highest 30% share with a wide array of engines and quite spread out price point. Renault-Nissan started a sub segment with 11% size. Mahindra is struggling due to overprice and small boot.

Cockpit

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KIA seems to have the most tech loaded cabin due to the large infotainment screen. But Renault-Nissan has a surprise package with value for money pricing. Upcoming Brezza too seems to have a power punch in this segment.

Instrument cluster

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Most surprising package is coming from Nissan-Renault, though it seems to be inspired from video game graphics but the info content and layout is outstanding in this segment, especially considering the fact that they are the cheapest. KIA has a good unit and the rest are mostly plain Jane vanilla. Tata’s unit seems to be lifted up from the 2W segment.

Infotainment system & 360 camera

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KIA certainly has the best infotainment system in the segment, followed by Maruti Brezza’s upcoming unit. The Nissan unit also has 360 camera input which is quite a value due to the lower price tag. Surprisingly Hyundai is offering a not so appealing system already available on sibling i20. Well Tata and Mahindra both have boring units here.

Headlamp technology

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Let us start with the best here – that is Maruti Brezza. Headlamp cluster has dual barrel LED projector setup, along with LED DRL which double up as turn indicator. Well lighting is really good in real life darkness, and surely better than the segments above as well. Priced in lower band, Nissan-Reanult’s non-identical twins have LED reflector setup, that’s a good value for money offering.

Comes next are those with halogen set up with projectors for low beam. Nexon EV also has the same setup, where LED should be preferred, as power saved elsewhere is power available for propulsion, isn’t this basic while developing EVs?

Drivetrain technology

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KIA sonnet has the best drivetrain offering in this segment both in terms of efficiency and performance. Also, only one with a choice of proper torque convertor automatic transmission for diesel engine. Nexon’s petrol engine is just adequate in this race, but not very fuel efficient and diesel engine is good in isolation but not in the company of Hyundai-KIA’s diesel engine.

Altroz

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Maruti with Baleno and Toyota’s Glanza command 55% of segment. Radical styling, low safety ratings and overpriced perception are the major weaknesses of current i20. Here Tata with three drivetrain options has made strong in roads into Hyundai’s share.

Cockpit

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Hyundai seems to have a tech loaded cockpit here with a large infotainment screen and digital cluster, Maruti also has stepped up the game with new Baleno. Tata seems to be little behind here again.

Instrument cluster

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Hyundai’s digital instrument cluster looks more modern as Tata’s 7” TFT isn’t very far ahead in terms of graphics. Maruti’s color MID graphics seem a little better though.

Infotainment system

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Hyundai has the best system here, Maruti is following the lead very closely, and Tata is just plain boring.

360 camera/ADAS/Head-up display

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Well nobody expected Maruti to offer a 360 camera in this segment, but then Maruti doubled the dose of surprise by throwing in a head-up display. Maruti is definitely changing with times, changing for good.

Headlamp technology

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Maruti and Hyundai have moved to a more expensive bi-module LED projector setup with a good level of illumination in pitch dark. Tata still uses old age halogen projector setup.

Drivetrain technology

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When it comes to NA petrol engines, nobody in this segment can beat Maruti’s 1,197cc petrol engine. This engine is very fuel efficient and performance is adequate for the price. Tata’s choice for DCA for a boring NA petrol engine is strange, as Maruti's choice shows that they know customers better in this segment, who are looking for fuel efficient and cost effective automatic transmission. Well in the turbocharged petrol and diesel engine category Hyundai definitely has an edge over Tata.

Tiago & Tigor

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Tigor and Tiago have carved out reasonable market share for themselves, especially after the 2020 facelift, in a segment strongly dominated by Maruti and Hyundai. Though they still could not touch the initial segment share what Tata Indica or Indigo has achieved.

Cockpit

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Here everybody seems to be on par, with Hyundai having a slight edge.

Instrument cluster

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Marutis’ analog color MID has better graphics than others. Tata’s digital display unit seems to have been picked from the 2W segment.

Infotainment system

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Hyundai’s system is largest in terms of size, rest all are at nearly the same level.

Headlamp technology

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Honda and Maruti have modern bi-module LEDs set up even in this segment. Hyundai and Tata both now have outdated halogen projector units.

Drivetrain technology

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Maruti is the king of fuel efficiency in this segment for NA petrol and CNG engines, by quite a margin. Maruti is also better at driving performance. Tata’s engine trail behind Hyundai in this race.

Conclusion

Tata Motors seriously lacks in the field of cockpit, drivetrain and head lamp technology, in every product segment they have presence. Mahindra and MG are hell bent to push the boundaries as demonstrated in every new product they launched in the recent past. Maruti has shown strong intent to change with changing times and now has full access to Toyota’s technology library. Hyundai-KIA have already demonstrated what they can do in future with Ioniq 5 and EV6 respectively. Also their homeland has giant battery manufacturers (LG, Samsung, SK) and have close tie ups. So Tata has no time to be complacent with current achievement and has a lot of catching up to do in this field.

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Futuristic cockpit and other technology concept shown in recent times by Tata Motors are just very basic in today’s time. Instrument cluster and infotainment system shown in Curvv concept seems to be quick and lousy job done over midnight. Avinya’s interior looks like tuck and nip job from other start up EV product concepts. Here also Mahindra is planning to come up with all guns blazing with ‘Born’ EV series.

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Just harping on design, safety and undercutting competitor’s price will not make Tata Motors too much of future ready when competition is raising the bar, and exposing Tata Motors’ weakness. To sustain the growth or market position Tata Motors need to heavily invest time besides human and financial capital in development and integration of upcoming and futuristic technology.

Last edited by Aditya : 20th June 2022 at 06:04. Reason: Typo
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Old 19th June 2022, 22:22   #2
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A really thoughtful and crisp comparison, Tata sure is lagging behind in these things but they have sure came a long way ahead and now they are the 2 nd top Car manufacturer in the country. Tata is always late in the party in respect to their product launches and the niggles which come with it are a whole other story and a sour cherry on top .

The day they sort out these things and improve their aftersales, Tata may even grab the No 1 position .
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Old 19th June 2022, 22:32   #3
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A very one-sided point of view IMHO, comparing only the weaknesses (subjective) of one brand against the positives of others.

TATA motors surely has some chinks in their armour, but which brand doesn't? If things were so bad - TATA Motors wouldn't be the brand with the best improvement in sales over the last year.

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While TATA Motors may not have the best headlamps or the best touchscreen - what they have are well rounded products with no major deal breakers like pathetic safety (Looking at you, Hyundai / Kia).

They also have made the biggest strides in the EV space so far - with the Nexon EV being the largest selling EV till date. Hyundai / Kia's EV6 and Ioniq reference above has no relevance to the market other than a flagship showcase IMHO. As good as saying JLR showed what is possible with the iPace.

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Old 19th June 2022, 23:29   #4
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Good comparison, but as a customer I am more interested in convenience and availability of information than technology per se. e.g. how the cockpit looks is of little value if the basic information I need is not intuitively available. Rather than the technology, I'd be interested in knowing how the illumination is for the headlight - as well as the throw and the focus (i.e. whether it causes problems to incoming traffic). Of course some points are mentioned, like performance in pitch darkness, but maybe a proper comparison / benchmarking of these would be more useful. I understand that you have done this based on secondary info, but maybe someone can do a side by side practicality comparison?
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Old 19th June 2022, 23:50   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
A very one-sided point of view IMHO, comparing only the weaknesses (subjective) of one brand against the positives of others.
Weakness was exposed by Mahindra XUV 700, and Tata has to offer discounts on New Safari (launched in 2021).That is why every product section starts with segment share analysis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
TATA motors surely has some chinks in their armour, but which brand doesn't? If things were so bad - TATA Motors wouldn't be the brand with the best improvement in sales over the last year.
Continuous improvement is necessary to achieve sustainable profitability. For example - Maruti has lost market share in the recent past. So there should not be any room for complacency.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
While TATA Motors may not have the best headlamps or the best touchscreen - what they have are well rounded products with no major deal breakers like pathetic safety (Looking at you, Hyundai / Kia).
Benchmark here is Mahindra XUV 700, including 5 star GNCAP crash test rating. Safari/Harrier donít have GNCAP rating till date.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Hyundai / Kia's EV6 and Ioniq reference above has no relevance to the market other than a flagship showcase IMHO.
Recently Tata Motors (India) placed an order for KIA EV6, for tear down analysis, common practice in the automotive industry.
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Old 19th June 2022, 23:50   #6
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Great comparison…

I agree Tata was caught off-guard by the XUV700 and the yet-to-be-launched Scorpio N as well, but just like they have purchased the Kia EV6 to be benchmarked, I believe they have already benchmarked the XUV700 and will updating the Harrier and Safari twins soon.

Although some key aspects are missing, Tata cars mostly offer class leading space, be it the Tiago, Altroz, Nexon or Harrier in their respective segments.

For headlights IMO it depends more on the throw of them!

HID + Halogen is a tried and tested combination now and out on the road this old-school tech does a much better job than many newer LED sealed units.

In fact the Creta/Alcazar’s LED headlights absolutely suck out on the road at night, add rain into the mix and they are rendered absolutely useless! MG Hector is slightly better than the Creta/Alcazar but still not up to the mark. XUV700’s setup is the best followed by the Harrier/Safari’s setup.

Similarly many old school setups like halogen projector + a separate pod for halogen high beam do a much better job of lighting up roads!

Coming to the instrument cluster;

I personally like the part analog and part digital setup in the Harrier/Safari and Altroz a lot more than the newer full digital units.

Although I hate the full Casio style digital ones in the Tiago/Tigor and Nexon.

It’s important to note that Tata Motors has grown tremendously in several areas, that Taxi-image that they were once associated with has successfully been converted by them into a proper private car business.

And you mentioned the safety ratings of Harrier/Safari only, rather the lack of them. But didn’t take into account the other Tata cars that have aced them with aplomb and Hyundai, Maruti Suzuki churn out tin-boxes in comparison.

Be it the Nexon vs Sonet-Venue or Altroz vs Baleno-i20 or Tiago/Tigor and Punch vs that entire segment of competitors!

Coming to the EV segment, the Nexon and Tigor EV have got the first-mover advantage already, other manufacturers will just be playing catch-up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pqr View Post

Conclusion

Tata Motors seriously lacks in the field of cockpit, drivetrain and head lamp technology, in every product segment they have presence. Mahindra and MG are hell bent to push the boundaries as demonstrated in every new product they launched in the recent past. Maruti has shown strong intent to change with changing times and now has full access to Toyota’s technology library. Hyundai-KIA have already demonstrated what they can do in future with Ioniq 5 and EV6 respectively. Also their homeland has giant battery manufacturers (LG, Samsung, SK) and have close tie ups. So Tata has no time to be complacent with current achievement and has a lot of catching up to do in this field.

Attachment 2322671

Futuristic cockpit and other technology concept shown in recent times by Tata Motors are just very basic in today’s time. Instrument cluster and infotainment system shown in Curvv concept seems to be quick and lousy job done over midnight. Avinya’s interior looks like tuck and nip job from other start up EV product concepts. Here also Mahindra is planning to come up with all guns blazing with ‘Born’ EV series.

Attachment 2322672
Just harping on design, safety and undercutting competitor’s price will not make Tata Motors too much of future ready when competition is raising the bar, and exposing Tata Motors’ weakness. To sustain the growth or market position Tata Motors need to heavily invest time besides human and financial capital in development and integration of upcoming and futuristic technology.
Design is a major factor in many families buying decision today! Hyundai is ruining their designs, Tata is putting in that effort to make them stand out.

The Altroz, Harrier and Safari, Nexon to a certain extent, excel in their design language.

Similarly had safety not been highlighted by Tata Motors starting with the Nexon, today we would’ve not known what Hyundai and Kia have done by cheapening out the platform for their cars compared to what they sell in global markets!

Mahindra’s Born EV range isn’t even out as concepts?! Yet we know they will be better than the Avinya and Curvv EVs which are concepts as well?

Even I am not a big fan of Tata, due to the odd niggles popping up in their cars, but downgrading the manufacturer just on the basis of the headlamp technology used, instrument cluster and touchscreen systems is not something I expected.

They still have a long way to go, they haven’t reached the top, but the effort is clearly visible. They wouldn’t have beaten Hyundai to the 2nd place twice in 6 months if this was the case.

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Old 20th June 2022, 00:29   #7
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I don't know about all the other points but the LEDs in all those other vehicles are complete garbage. Halogen or HID is still the most effective illumination method.

I do agree however that they are lacking in the power train dept and shuffling their feet over sorting it out however to some extent Ican understand their hesitation with mass electrification approaching and their own success in this.

A bigger chink would be the support and servicing area which still seems to be a hit or miss
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Old 20th June 2022, 02:14   #8
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Nice analytical article. Well written.

The views are a bit lopsided though. What TATA has shown is that it’s products are well rounded, overall competent in nature. Chassis, engine and power train, build and material quality, and good safety are hard to achieve traits - and TATA has got them right for all of its recent products. Big players (Hyundai, Kia, Maruti in safety), VW in its cost structures (and off late cost cutting), Honda/Toyota in innovation, Jeep in pricing etc. lack in major dimensions, and Tata doesn’t. So, great job Tata.

What Tata lacks is better product planning - i.e. which variants, feature spread in its cars - and a bit of blitzy marketing! Also, Tata must be wary of not launching an MVP type product, but a fully baked one. This is easy to fix, and Tata must work hard to get it right.

Adding 100 LED lights all round, at least 15” touch screen (pun’ intended) - are all buy from O.E.M and fit it in the car stuff, so no reason why Tata shouldn’t do it. So, just do it!

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Old 20th June 2022, 04:46   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pqr View Post
Weakness was exposed by Mahindra XUV 700, and Tata has to offer discounts on New Safari (launched in 2021).That is why every product section starts with segment share analysis.
While I understand the Harrier or Safari isn't the complete package, sorry to say this analysis looks b̶i̶a̶s̶e̶d̶ skewed.

1) MG has been selling more Hectors in India than Harrier since 2019

FACT: The Tata Omega Arc models outsell the MG Hector 2 & 3 row variants, 2:1 or more lately 2.5 :1. Remember Tata have two brands of the same model based on the same platform separated by seating configurations, ie. Harrier (5 seater vs Hector/XUV700 5 seat variants) and the Safari (7 seater vs Hector/XUV700 7 seat variants).

In fact the Hector has been the biggest causality of the XUV700 launch, the chinese car has seen falling sales of late. This is completely missing in the analysis, which seems blinded by LEDs and screen sizes.

Jan'22
Tata Harrier & Safari:4,265
Hector 5&7 seat: 2,039

Feb'22
Tata Harrier & Safari:4,538
Hector 5&7 seat: 2,102

Mar'22
Tata Harrier & Safari:4,718
Hector 5&7 seat: 2,019

Apr'22
Tata Harrier & Safari:4,856
Hector 5&7 seat: 1,448

May'22
Tata Harrier & Safari:5,036
Hector 5&7 seat: 1,633

The Harrier continues to outsell the Hector, and the Harrier/Safari combo sales leaves the chinese to the dust in our market. Maybe this lopsided theory will prove true in June and the Hector will rise like a phoenix and sell 5k+ units, albeit highly unlikely.

Now one can counter this by saying we need to forgive the Hector due to xi-jinping's lockdown, supply issues etc.. but I shall come to such arguments later.

2) Recently launched XUV700, despite supply side constraint, has captured more market share than Harrier and Safari combined.

Firstly, the Harrier is more than 3 years old. And the new XUV700 does outsell the Tata twins, but is it really a runaway lead like you make it sound?

Jan'22
Tata Harrier & Safari:4,265
XUV700 5&7 seat: 4,119

Feb'22
Tata Harrier & Safari:4,538
XUV700 5&7 seat: 4,138

Mar'22
XUV700 5&7 seat: 6,040
Tata Harrier & Safari: 4,718

Apr'22
Tata Harrier & Safari:4,856
XUV700 5&7 seat: 4,494

May'22
XUV 700 5&7 seat: 5,069
Tata Harrier & Safari: 5,036

In reality, it's kind of neck and neck in my perspective, don't you agree? Not bad for a design that was launched at the end of 2018!

Now one can argue the Hector/XUV700 suffers from lockdowns, supply issues etc.. but the onus is on the manufacturer to get the car into the customers hands. For eg. would an argument like, 'But if the Harrier and Safari have petrol variants they could almost DOUBLE their sales?' Nope, the argument is irrelevant because the onus is on Tata to introduce petrol engines, manage their supply chain etc..etc..

3) 40k discount
Check the starting prices of the Harrier/Safari vs the Hector/XUV700. The Tata models are more pricier, so it's no like it's under cutting the competition prices. The Tata models are pricier and do not have the equipment the competition boasts off. So they have to align prices, isn't this industry standard practice?

Look at the starting prices of the XUV700 and Hector petrol variants, they are far cheaper.

Plus if that's enough to call it a chink, what about the likes of the Mahindra 100, 300, Marazzo, Alturas etc.... they are all laggards in their respective segments, aren't they? Or is their a plan to start a new thread about the chinks in Mahindra's armor?

4) Cyrus Mistry & Pratap Bose

Cyrus Mistry has nothing to do with Tata Motor's turnaround. Heck if he had his way he would've sold off everything apart from TCS and Titan.

The credit belongs to Guenter Butschek, and his sole minded focus to create a portfolio of aspirational products and focus on next generation technology.

Pratap Bose is a loss, but one individual is not the end all of an organization. Tata has an impressive team of designers based in three design studios in Turin-Italy, Coventry-UK and Pune-India.

Last edited by shortbread : 20th June 2022 at 05:02.
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Old 20th June 2022, 06:32   #10
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Default Re: Chink in Tata Motors 3.0 armour

In Tata's current strategy only thing thats lacking in Engine/gearbox . Rest everything are not deal breaker for me. The problem is valid across the segment. Tiago/Tigor/Punch/Altroz all get 3 cylinder motor which is quite poor. While Altroz gets turbo variant, is anything but performer. Nexon though gets some good engines. The 1.5L diesel mill is a gem and petrol also has decent grunt though both are not class leading. For Harrier/Safari, Tata has been relying on Fiat with no petrol power. While we are in transition phase, there is couple more years before ICE is over. That said for 4.0(EV era), Tata has setup the stage nicely, hope they capitalise.
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Old 20th June 2022, 08:16   #11
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Default Re: Chink in Tata Motors 3.0 armour

I think the OP takes a rather harsh view of things like cockpit and headlamp technology. Granted, the Nexon’s basic instrument cluster sucks. But the part digital one on the Altroz top end, Punch top end and on the Nexon EV is actually good. Display is crisp and graphics are very well implemented. Tata actually created its own design and interface from scratch, Hyundai’s is a complete rip off of BMW’s.

As for the main 7inch screen, it’s not the biggest or fastest today. But let’s not forget that Tata was the first to introduce such a big screen with integrated functions in this segment with the original Nexon. And even today, the sound quality of Tata cars remains best in class, with Bose and Arkyms not coming close. Again, Hyundai pulls a fast one off on its customers - the Bose branding is everywhere but only the front speakers are Bose.

As for headlamp technology, pls understand that just being LED doesn’t make it superior. LEDs are the current fad, and companies are following for purely aesthetic, low heating and in-trend purpose. What nobody tells you is that these blue-white lights are completely useless in rain, smog and fog. You don’t see anything yourself, and you end up blinding oncoming traffic. You need to engineer your LEDs and projectors for performance in adverse conditions, which is so not the case in the budget segment. Going up, even in cars like Creta, Compass, Hector, the headlights suck. Simple halogen bulbs provide the best illumination at a cost in typical Indian conditions. There is a reason why truckers don’t switch the LEDs, and even wrap their headlights with yellow tint for better visibility in rain and fog.

Lights and displays are trivial things. Credit, where it is due, Tata has well and truly trounced its mass market rivals in the sub 20L space in things like build quality, robustness, safety, ride and handling and dynamics. You can always buy LEDs and screens and sensors and plonk them in bulk. You can even buy engines and transmissions, everyone does that. But these other things, there are no shortcuts to them.
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Old 20th June 2022, 08:52   #12
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Default Re: Chink in Tata Motors 3.0 armour

The only real chink in the armour that I could see in Tata Motors 3.0 (if I forgive them for abandoning the BoF segment) is the drivetrain area.

Except for the 1.5 diesel equipped models, can't say I am excited to buy any other ICE vehicle from Tata. Of course, Tata is playing well in the BEV segment, and I think they believe they could leapfrog straight to the BEV era, by flogging the existing ICE for the time being.

Hope to see that the upcoming Curvv will have a proper set of petrol/diesel engines complementing the BEV model.
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Old 20th June 2022, 09:20   #13
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Default Re: Chink in Tata Motors 3.0 armour

Very well researched and written. I think Tata has decent sales but need to worry upcoming Brezza. XUV 700's numbers are low because of manufacturing constraints and might impact the Harrier if were normal.
I hope they invest more and move forward with BEV vehicles.
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Old 20th June 2022, 10:02   #14
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Default Re: Chink in Tata Motors 3.0 armour

I am really glad to see someone highlighting the misses in current TATA product line-up. Though I appreciate what TATA is doing with their products recently- a rather commendable job, there is always a scope of improvement to target a wider audience and increase the product reach.

Let's appreciate the OP for his well detailed & researched post. Everyone wants a good competition and we all want TATA to succeed. Highlighting shortcomings and hoping for better future products will not only help the company but also make their products competitive and in turn benefit us as consumers.

Major misses for me - It is the drivetrain for the sub 4m line-up that they need to improve drastically and, please a diesel / turbo petrol for the Punch.
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Old 20th June 2022, 12:23   #15
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Default Re: Chink in Tata Motors 3.0 armour

@ KPR

If what you are saying is true, then this forum itself shouldn't exist. We discuss about VAG, Hyundai and the likes as well and their shortcomings. There are multiple threads about DSGs and Hyundai's poor QC here. There's no end to discussing manufacturer shortcomings. And that's the reason why this forum exists.

Tata motors has come a long way since the good old Indica days. They are building some of the safest cars in the country and I have utmost respect for them in that regard. But just like every manufacturer, they have their shortcomings. The O.P has tried to document those shortcomings relative to what Tata was doing 2-3 decades back. I don't see anything wrong in it.

If every car comes with a price and the manufacturer knows best, then there's no purpose to this forum. Might as well blindly agree to everything every car maker says and not debate upon any of it since the manufacturer knows better.

Cheers

Last edited by GTO : 21st June 2022 at 08:17. Reason: Quoted post deleted
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