It’s raining compact SUVs! Thanks to the immense success that is being enjoyed by the Renault-Dacia Duster and Ford EcoSport, most major car makers are jumping into the fray by coming up with new mini-SUVs for the fast growing segment.
Tata Motors hasn’t been posting great numbers on sales chart since some time now and saw its net profit crashing by 52% in the third quarter of the current fiscal. Tata is now planning to launch an assortment of new vehicles to cash in on popular trends like that of the Compact-SUV. This means that Tata Motors might be contemplating to come up with an all new sub four-meter SUV to take on likes of Ford EcoSport, Renault Duster and Mahindra Quanto.
“We definitely have lost a bit of ground but we will get back with new products. There are lots of projects in the pipeline and we want to be a significant player in the UV segment,” said Ashesh Dhar, head, UV product group, at Tata Motors.
“We are quite aggressive in UVs, and are looking at building on it further.” He further added.
Sales of Tata Sumo, Safari, Aria and Venture UVs fell by 3% in April-January 2012-13 as compared to the sales in the same period last fiscal.
On being asked if the new vehicles would include a sub four-metre entry SUV, Dhar told TOI, “Wherever there is growth, we will not neglect that… We are looking at many, many SUVs. We see the industry growing very strongly across categories.”
Tata Motors became a trendsetter of sorts when it came up with India’s first sub-four meter variant of a bigger vehicle by launching the Tata Indigo compact sedan. It may be noted that sub-four meter cars in Indian market enjoy a 50% reduction in excise duty. This enables the manufacturers to price the product competitively and hence get an edge over the rivals.
On being told about numerous other manufacturers who will be soon launching compact SUVs in Indian market, Dhar said, “Definitely, we have to come with something that is market competitive.”