Chennai: Tata Motors, which recently unveiled its new passenger vehicle the Indigo Marina, is eyeing the European markets. According to Rajiv Dube, vice president commercial, passenger car business unit: "The estate model is more popular in Europe than in other parts of the globe. Therefore, the Marina was designed with the European market in mind."
The new model will be marketed through dealers in Europe and not through the MG Rover group of UK with whom the company has a tie-up for marketing the Indica in Europe. Tata Motors also ships out cars to other Asian countries and has exported 7,000 cars during the first 9 months of this fiscal.
Speaking about the potential for the model in the domestic market, he says: "The model will be positioned such that it finds favour with the Indian car buyers." The new model, developed from the Indica/Indigo platform, will hit the markets in a couple of months. The company has also developed a 7 seater Indiva on the same platform.
A single platform offers advantages of economy arising out of common parts for different versions, low inventories and lower prices. According to Dube, each model caters to different segments of buyers and offers different value propositions. "Till date we haven't seen any adverse buyer reactions as Indica and Indigo are doing well at the market place."
During the nine month period April-December 2004, Tata Motors has sold 98,000 passenger cars (Indica: 57,000, Indigo: 20,000 and utility vehicles Sumo and Safari put together: 21,000). According to Dube, this year, Indica logged a growth rate of 10 per cent , Sumo 27 per cent and Safari 21 per cent. "Indica, Indigo and Sumo figure amongst the top ten out of the 55 models sold in India," Dube adds.
In five years Tata Motors has emerged the number two car company in India and the investments made in the car business have started paying back. Till now the company has sold around 350,000 Indicas.
Recently, the company gave a facelift to its model Indica V2, which now has a sporty exterior while the interiors have been refurbished to make the car even more spacious, giving it a contemporary, premium product.