Among the Indian car majors, Tata Motors - thus far known mainly for its trucks and the well-publicised but perhaps under-priced Nano – has unleashed three new global launches.
One is the Tata Aria, which according to the company combines the features of a SUV with those of a family car. It can carry up to eight persons; and is powered by the same 2.2-litre common rail engine that is under the hood of Tata's popular Safari. The Aria will be in showrooms by the middle of the year, and is expected to carry a price tag of Rs7-10 Lakh.
Another global premiere is the Magic Iris - and this makes one believe that Tata Motors is strongly focussing on low-priced cars. Expected to be priced at Rs2.5 lakh, it is powered by a 611cc engine delivering a maximum speed of just 55 kph. But it can seat five people.
The Tata Venture - the company's third launch - is bigger than the passenger carrier ACE, with seating that can be adjusted for five, seven, or eight people. The car will be powered by a 71PS turbo diesel engine – the same that powers the Indica. The Venture is expected to be on sale this year, and will cost Rs4-5 lakh.
In passenger vehicles, the group has displayed a range of new models, including Tata Indica Vista hatchbacks, the Tata Safari, the Sumo Grande MK II, the Xenon XT and two specially conceived Tata Nano cars.
Tata Motors is of course also flashing the latest models of the marquee brands it controversially acquired last year – Jaguar and Land Rover.