Pune: Tata Motors has launched its station wagon Indigo Marina in the Indian market and hopes to grow the estate segment, which earlier had vehicles like the Tata Estate and Sienna Weekender.
Tata Motors officials indicated that Marina would be priced below Rs six lakh and would be launched in five variants, three petrol and two diesel, and would have a 1.4 litre engine.
Company officials said the Tata Indigo Marina would be positioned as a premium, aspirational vehicle in the midsize (C) segment, combining the luxury of a sedan and the convenience of a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV).
Tata Motors originally showcased the Marina at the Geneva Motor show in 2003 and again at the Auto Expo 2004, and the vehicle is seeing a belated launch due to production constraints at the company's Pune car plant. The company is now working towards expanding capacity by 50 per cent from the current 450-500 cars per day.
Though Tata Motors claims to have created a completely new segment a number of estate versions have already hit Indian roads, namely the Sienna Weekender, Corsa Swing and Suzuki Baleno Altura, which have not been successful.
According to Rajiv Dube, vice president, commercial, passenger car business unit, Tata Motors, the other estates did not succeed because their pricing was not in keeping with the product. He also said that car makers have been demanding a huge premium over sedan versions and also are able to offer only one fuel option. "We have remedied that by offering Marina in a diesel version," he added.
This is also Tata Motor's second offering in the estate/station wagon segment. The Tata Estate, launched in 1992, was phased out a few years ago.
The company hopes to sell initially around 4,000 to 6,000 units of the Marina per annum not an ambitious target by any account. The car will be available in three petrol versions and two petrol variants.
Tata Motors has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Brilliance Auto in China and in discussion to export Tata Indica and Tata Indigo to China and South Africa.
Dube said, "For a car company so young in business, we do believe that Indian market has responded extremely well to the new offerings from Tata Motors and the company is now the second largest player in the domestic passenger car market with a market share of 17 percent."
He said the company would be positioning Indigo Marina as a new mainstream car. "The company would be in a position to meet the Bharat Stage III norms when they are enforced. The vehicles exported to Europe meet Euro III norms," he added.
The Tata Indigo Marina will be launched with an 18 month unlimited km warranty and will be available through 130 dealerships backed by a 500-strong service network across 200 cities of the country, the second largest in the country.