Swaraj Baggonkar-Moneycontrol-As Tata Motors looks to up its ante in the passenger car segment the Mumbai based company is believed to be working on forming a premium line of dealerships on the lines of Nexa set up by arch-rival Maruti Suzuki.
The maker of light on pocket models like Tiago, Indica and Nano Tata Motors is working on a few premium products such as a premium hatchback, premium sports utility vehicle and an executive sedan as it aims to be number three in the market by 2019.
Presently the company sells all its products including its least priced model Nano starting at Rs 2.23 lakh and the premium SUV Hexa starting at Rs 11.99 lakh (both prices exshowroom,Delhi) from the same sales outlet. But as the company progressively enters new segments to fill product gaps it will explore an entirely new line of sales channel,
said company sources. “As we expand our product portfolio which will be completely overhauled in the next few years there will be a need to segregate the sales channels”, said the source.
At Maruti Suzuki the price gap between the entry product and the top end
product is not as wide as Tata Motors. Maruti Suzuki’s model range starts at Rs 2.5 lakh with the Alto while the Ignis priced at Rs 4.59 lakh (both prices exshowroom,
Delhi) is sold from the exclusive Nexa chain of outlets.
At the launch of Hexa, Tata Motors Passenger Vehicle Business Unit President Mayank Pareek said, “We are working on it”,when asked if there will be a need for a Nexa like
dealerships for Tata’s premium products. Presently Tata Motors’ product portfolio caters to less than 60 per cent of the market leaving other segments such as compact SUV, compact premium hatchback, luxury SUV, executive sedan, crossovers wideopen.
Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Volkswagen, Fiat and Honda have already raced ahead in creating new segments. For instance the premium hatchback segment where there are products like Hyundai Elite i20 and Maruti Suzuki Baleno has been a runaway success. “We don’t have to wait for others to start a new segment. We have products that we believe will create new segments”, said Pareek in an interview to Moneycontrol.
Pareek was part of the team that worked on Maruti’s Nexa chain of outlets during his longstanding stint at the Delhi based company. While Maruti’s first product in Nexa, which was the S Cross, failed to impress buyers with its steep price tag, other products like Baleno and Ignis have gathered a strong momentum.
Tata Motors is presently populating the Budget segment with upcoming products like Kite 5 (codename for a compact sedan rivaling Maruti Suzuki Dzire) and Nexon (a compact SUV pitted against Maruti Suzuki Brezza).