Why is Tata Motors Cars always a pioneer but never the leader?

Modified On Nov 02, 2015 12:02 PM By Bala Subramaniam

With the Horizonext, Tata Motors were planning to get back in to the game of passenger cars market with new products and segment leading features. It’s been over a year since the company launched the first product in the Horizonext, Tata Zest and the Tata Bolt that followed has also been here for quite some time now. Despite being able products and getting good reviews from the critics, the Zest and Bolt have not been selling as much as the company hoped to. The competition is still moving ahead with new products and better sales. So what is Tata Motors doing wrong?

Starting from Tata Sierra to Tata Estate, from Tata Indica to Tata Safari, Tata Motors have always been the first to bring in the trend before anyone else. With the Sierra, Tata Motors started their journey in the passenger car market in 1991. The Sierra was the first automobile to be designed and produced in India and it was a three-door SUV that no one expected. Tata Estate introduced us to what a stationwagon is while Tata Sumo popularised the trend of UVs. Tata Indica takes pride in being India’s first fully indigenous passenger car and Tata Safari is the first SUV to be designed, developed and manufactured entirely in India. And we all know about the story of Nano, the car that was cannot-be-made.

Sierra was one good looking car. Indica has got a great design. Safari is a rugged looking SUV that proved its mettle. Personally, Sumo Grande is an amazing car with great value for money. Though caught between two worlds, Aria is a great alternative for Innova. The Indigo eCS started the compact sedan trend. Nano proved that budget isn’t a problem for owning a car. The recent launches, Zest and Bolt have just reiterated the fact that Tata can design a good looking car with good build quality, great interiors and segment leading features. Apart from the products, they have the expertise too to bring in new technologies regularly, with the Revetron petrol engine being the latest example.

With their two plants in Pune and Sanand, Tata Motors sure have the capability of producing cars to meet much higher demand than their current operating capacity. Their sales and service network is the third largest in the country and by this year, the company aims to add 200 more. There are also plans to triple the network in the next three years.

So, what stops Tata Motors from being one among the top carmakers in India to the largest? They have the history, the product and the capability. But then, while Tata Motors has always been the brand to be the first to launch something new, they are not always at the top of the sales leader board. They launch something new to the market and then the competition comes in, launches a better product based on that and rake in the hoolah. For example, Tata Sumo and Tata Safari are great products but then came in Mahindra Bolero and Mahindra Scorpio, selling much better. Tata Indica was one of the best selling cars in India and for Tata but that too is fading month on month.  Everyone who has bought a Safari will swear by it for the best SUV but the numbers are just not happening.

Maybe the public also has some share in the blame. We never considered anything Indian as seriously as we see other foreign brands. Now, Tata Motors have to market themselves as a brand that people can, not just trust, but also look cool in and that their products are on par or above the competition. The Horizonext is the step in the right direction for Tata Motors. Zest and Bolt has opened a new dimension for Tata Motors and we just hope that the company keeps it coming.

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