The company on Tuesday launched internal combustion engine (ICE)-powered Safari – priced from ₹16.19 lakh to ₹25.49 lakh – and Harrier – priced from ₹15.49 lakh to ₹21.69 lakh. Tata Motors is also confident of selling 100,000 electric cars by the end of the current fiscal. It fell short of reaching the halfway mark in the first six months of FY24 as it had to ramp down production of its flagship Nexon EV ahead of a planned major upgrade of the model, said Shailesh Chandra, managing director of Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles and Tata Passenger Electric Mobility.
The Tata Group flagship is hoping to reach the sales milestone for its EVs with the new Nexon EV that went on sale last month, enhanced sales in the fleet segment, and launch of the electrified version of the Punch, its micro-SUV later this fiscal.
Also in the works is the electrified version of the Harrier, planned for 2024.
Amid increasing competition in the utility vehicle market – SUVs and multipurpose vehicles, or MPVs – and ahead of the launch of major upgrades of its SUVs, Tata Motors’ share in the country’s utility vehicle market dropped to 14.51% in the first half of FY24 from 18.47% a year earlier, according to industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). Its overall volumes in the same period dropped to 172,124 units from 181,481 units a year earlier. Chandra is confident that the company will more than recover the lost ground and scale new peaks as its mid-cycle upgrades of models roll out.
“Tata Motors will be a force to reckon with in the SUV market,” he told ET ahead of the launch of the new Safari and Harrier. Among other things, the company’s high focus on active and passive safety will act as a strong differentiator from the rest in the crowded SUV market, he said. “Both Harrier and Safari, consisting of seven airbags, have got a five-star rating – the highest for any car in India – for adult and pedestrian safety by Global NCAP under their revised safety protocol,” Chandra said.
Safety rating and safety features have emerged as a key differentiator as passenger vehicle makers in India jostle for their pie in the world’s third-largest auto market.