A CarToq community poll has shown that buyers perceive Mahindra vehicles to be of a higher quality than Tata vehicles. Why is that so?
In an online poll about the quality perception of vehicles from Tata and Mahindra, Mahindra got a far larger share of the vote compared to Tata. Here are what the results of the poll show. Of the total 395 votes polled in the snap poll, 284 votes or 71.9% of the vote went to Mahindra with Tata settling for the rest.
CarToq Community Poll
Which of these companies makes better quality vehicles?
Mahindra: 284 (71.9%)
Tata: 111 (28.1%)
Total Votes: 395
Mahindra seen as more proactive
Is this poll an indication of market realities? Yes, it is, if you look at the sales figures of the vehicles from these two companies across segments, except for some. If you compare India’s largest selling utility vehicle, the Mahindra Bolero, with its main rival, the Tata Sumo Gold, you can see how this perception plays out in the market. The Mahindra Bolero sold an average of 10,322 vehicles a month in the last three months, while the Tata Sumo managed only an average of 3,204 (and this includes the Sumo Gold and Sumo Grande). That’s a ratio of over 3:1 between Mahindra and Tata. Also read: Tata Safari Storme vs Mahindra Scorpio
Look at the higher segments and it’s a similar story. The Mahindra Scorpio when compared with the Tata Safari also sells in a 4:1 ratio, with the Scorpio averaging 4000 units a month to just about 1000 units for the Tata Safari (including the Storme). And if you compare the Mahindra XUV500 with the Tata Aria – the difference in sales figures is embarrassing for Tata. Also read: Tata Safari Storme vs Mahindra XUV500
It’s only in the passenger car segment, where the figures are kind of reversed. Mahindra makes only one passenger car now, the Mahindra Verito which competes with the Tata Indigo / Tata Manza. The Indigo and Manza together reported an average sales figure of 4,177 units in the past three months, compared to 1,441 units a month on average for the Mahindra Verito.
JD Power survey reflects CarToq poll
Does this mean that Mahindra makes better quality vehicles than Tata? To a certain extent it’s true, if you look at the JD Power Initial Quality Study that shows Mahindra is ahead of Tata. However, vehicles of both companies are not without their own share of niggles and problems. It’s just that Mahindra is faster at fixing the issues than Tata has been in the past, and that perception continues. Also read: Best cars in India with least quality problems – JD Power survey
Mahindra and Tata are two home-grown companies that have been actively developing passenger cars and SUVs for the Indian market at a time when they face tough competition from global players also doing business in the Indian market.
Tata is a company that dabbles in several different businesses from steel to software, with Tata Motors, its automotive company being an important part. Until the 1990s Tata only made buses and trucks, but soon ventured into passenger cars with the launch of the Tata Sierra, Tata Estate and Tata Sumo initially. Its first car was the Tata Indica launched in 1998.
Mahindra, on the other hand, has been in the passenger car space far longer – from the 1950s, building Jeeps under licence, besides tractors. It now dabbles in two-wheelers to trucks, having expanded its passenger vehicles portfolio only by 2000, with the launch of the Bolero, followed by Scorpio and then Xylo, and more recently the Mahindra XUV500, Mahindra Thar and Mahindra Quanto.