Tata Motors plans new platform X4 to develop 8 new car models

Tata Motors is investing in an advanced modular product (AMP) platform to produce at least 4-8 new passenger vehicle models in a bid to regain lost ground in the Indian car market.

TATA MANZAThe AMP platform, which will include a compact car, hatchback, sedan and even an MPV, is the company's biggest bet in its comeback strategy after losing ground to competitor Mahindra and Mahindra.

The new platform is on the lines of Volkswagen's modular MQB platform and Renault-Nissan's common module family, or CMF, the advanced product platform.

The AMP, which is also called 'X4' internally, is being jointly developed by Tata Motors' European Technical Centre and Engineering Research Centre, or ERC, in Pune.

Under the modular platform, an aggregation of critical components which enhances commonality and flexibility, tries to deliver on synergies and commonality of components to deliver cost-competitive products.

Tata Motors plans to develop four different models - the entry hatchback, a top-end hatchback, a compact sub-4 metre sedan and a compact multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) and could add four more products later.

A pet project of chairman Cyrus Mistry, the new platform, X4, will churn out globally-competitive products and results are expected by the end of the decade.

Tata Motors plans to invest around Rs1,500 crore on the new platform in the current financial year.

The first product on this platform will be ready only after 2015-16, a source said.

In the meantime, the company will bring in Vista facelift in the first half of 2014, followed by a sub-4 metre sedan (Manza or Vista CS) in the second half of 2014.

Besides, a Nano Diesel, a small hatchback and sub-4 metre sedan on 'X0' platform, which are also under development, are likely to be ready by 2015-16.

On the SUV front, Tata Motors is looking to address competition from M&M's S101, Ford's EcoSport, Maruti's Ertiga, and an aspirational utility vehicle to take on M&M's Bolero.

Tata Motors, however, has made the JLR a big success and is now betting on bringing in the new models at an affordable cost, while also meeting the fast-evolving consumer needs.

The company's passenger vehicle market share is at its historic low at around 8.91 per cent in April to July of FY14, the sales for the first four months of this fiscal declined 34.82 per cent to 70,736 units.

Tata Motors' total sales (including exports) of Tata commercial and passenger vehicles in August 2013 were 49,611 vehicles. The company's domestic sales of Tata commercial and passenger vehicles for August 2013 were 44,717 units. 

Cumulative sales (including exports) for the company for the fiscal were 254,355 units.

The company's sales of commercial vehicles in August 2013 in the domestic market were 33,153 units, LCV sales were 24,904 units, while M&HCV sales stood at 8,249 units.

Cumulative sales of commercial vehicles in the domestic market for the fiscal were 176,853 units. Cumulative LCV sales were 127,547 units, while M&HCV sales stood at 49,306 units.

Sales of passenger vehicles for August 2013 were at 11,564 units. Sales of the Nano/ Indica/ Indigo range in August 2013 were 8,761 units. The Sumo/ Safari/ Aria/ Venture range sales were 2,803 units.

Cumulative sales of passenger vehicles were 56,896 nos. Cumulative sales of the Nano/ Indica/ Indigo range were at 44,780 units. Cumulative sales of the Sumo/Safari/ Aria/ Venture range were 12,116 units.

The company's sales from exports were 4,894 nos in August 2013. Cumulative sales from exports for the fiscal were 20,606 units.