Rare video of Ratan Tata launching the Tata Safari & Indica at Auto Expo 1998

Tata Motors has become one of the main competitors in the automobile industry of India now. They reported a Year On Year sales increase of 119 percent. The sales for Feb’21 were 27,225 whereas the sales for Feb’20 were 12,430. However, the journey for Tata Motors was not so smooth. Tata Motors entered the passenger segment with the Sierra. It was the Auto Expo of 1998 when Ratan Tata himself launched the Safari SUV and the Indica hatchback. Both of which were a huge success in the Indian market. Here is a video of the event in which Ratan Tata launched both iconic vehicles.

The video starts with Ratan Tata giving a speech and then the rear of a Tata Indica finished in Blue colour is shown. Then a shot of Safari is shown, in which a white Safari is shown on rocks emphasising the SUVs off-road abilities. There is also a red Tata Safari in the background which is revolving on the stage.

Within two weeks of the unveiling of the Indica, Tata Motors got 1,15,000 bookings. 2 years later, Indica was the number one car in its segment. The hatchback was offered with a 1.4-litre petrol engine that pumped out 60 bhp of max power and a peak torque output of 104 Nm. Then there was a 1.4-litre diesel engine that produced 53.5 bhp of max power and a peak torque output of 85 Nm. Both the engines were offered with a 4-speed manual gearbox.

The Indica started at just Rs. 2.59 lakhs ex-showroom whereas the top-end DLX variant which was fully loaded cost Rs. 3.9 lakhs ex-showroom.

It came with first-in-the-segment all four power windows, central locking with remote, 5-speed manual gearbox, rear wiper, parcel tray, digital clock in the centre of the dashboard, tachometer etc.

On the other hand, Safari was considered a big SUV at that time. It came with a 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine capable of producing 90 hp of max power and a peak torque output of 186 Nm. It offered road presence like no other car could offer at that time. The Safari started at Rs. 8.25 lakhs ex-showroom. People also remember Safari for its iconic advertisements that some consider the best car advertisements of all time.

It was 2018 when the Indica was discontinued because of various reasons. Safari on the other hand was discontinued the Safari Storme was discontinued in December 2019 because of the upcoming BS6 emission norms that would become mandatory.

Recently, the Safari nameplate made a comeback in the Indian market. Unlike the old Safari, the new Safari is front-wheel drive only and features a monocoque chassis. When compared all the previous Safaris were based on a ladder-frame chassis and were 4×4.

The new Safari uses a 2.0-litre Kyrotec diesel engine that we have also seen on the Harrier, Jeep Compass and the MG Hector. The engine produces 170 PS of max power and a peak torque output of 350 Nm. It is offered with a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox that drives the front wheels only. The Safari is priced at Rs. 14.69 lakhs ex-showroom.