Tata Motors has beaten both Mahindra and Honda, to emerge as India’s third largest car maker – behind Maruti and Hyundai. In November 2017, Tata Motors dispatched 17,157 cars while Mahindra managed 16,030 units. Honda was far behind with 11,819 units. Tata’s sales have registered a huge, 35 % jump from 2016. In many years, this is the first time that Tata Motors has reached third place.
The exact sales split is yet to be made available. It is likely that the high sales for Tata is being contributed mainly by three new cars – the Tiago hatchback, the Nexon compact SUV and the Tigor compact sedan. Together these cars are expected to be bringing over 12,000 unit sales. The Hexa luxury crossover, the flagship vehicle from Tata, has also doing decent numbers. Other Tata cars are more or less sales duds.
Tata Motors has ambitious future plans. In 2018, it will launch a new premium hatchback which is presently code-named the X451. The X451 will challenge the Maruti Baleno and Hyundai i20 Elite, two cars that together sell about 20,000 units on an average. If the Tata X451 can sell at least 20 % of this number, it will have another decent volumes puller that can take it past 20,000 monthly units. This is the near-term target that Tata has set for itself.
To boost Nexon sales further, AMT variants will be offered on both petrol and diesel versions of the compact SUV. Tata is also planning to launch a new compact SUV by the end of next year. Code-named the Q501, the SUV will be longer than 4 meters, and will slot in between the Nexon and the Safari Storme. It is expected to be a competitor to the Hyundai Creta and Renault Duster.
Mahindra is expected to vigorously fight back with its own line-up of launches in 2018. There is a longer version of the TUV300 – called TUV300 Plus – coming up soon. Then in early 2018, the automaker will launch the U321 code-named MPV. It will be followed by the S201 compact SUV, which will again challenge the Hyundai Creta and the Renault Duster. Mahindra also has a petrol-powered XUV500 being readied up for launch.