Snapshot – March 2014. Tata Motors is now number 5 in the Indian car market, a far cry from the times when it was in third place and even poised to take on Hyundai in a battle for the second place. In a nutshell, the Indian automaker is in a tight spot and needs to move quickly to regain lost ground. The company showed what the future holds for it in the run up to the 2014 Indian Auto Expo. The next couple of years will see the products showcased being translated to production reality. CarToq profiles Tata Motors’ upcoming car launches for 2014 and 2015.
Zest Compact Sedan
Much has been written about the Zest compact sedan, Tata Motors’ second entry into the Indian compact sedan segment. While the segment pioneering Indigo eCS was slightly ahead of its time, the Zest comes at a time when the compact sedan space is one of the hottest sectors of the car market here, with booming sales and a slew of launches. The Zest will be sold with turbo petrol and turbo diesel engines. Segment leading factors: Diesel Automatic combination and the first compact sedan with a turbo petrol engine. The Zest is expected to be priced to match prices of the Dzire, Amaze and Xcent.
Tata Motors has finally laid the Indica shell to rest and with its the X’mas tree tail lamps on the X1 platform. through the Bolt, the car maker adopts a new top hat design although the platform underpinning it remains the X1, with a range of modernizing changes. The Bolt hatchback, in essence is a successor of the Vista hatchback. The car will use the newly developed REVOTRON turbo petrol engine and the well known 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet turbo diesel engine. Like the Zest, the Bolt will be offered an automated manual transmission as an option. With that, The car could be the first ever diesel automatic hatchback in India. Production is set to commence before July-end.
Tata Motors is repositioning the Sume Grande MUV to take the fight up to the Mahindra Bolero, the incumbent market leader. Dubbed the Movus (a shortened form of Move-Us), the Grande MUV’s new avatar will come with a host of improvements such as increased fuel efficiency, a revised clutch, additional features and minor design tweaks. The Movus MUV is aimed at clawing back marketshare from the Bolero through a cut price variant and a 3.0 liter CR4 common rail turbo diesel engine borrowed from the Sumo Gold.
Nano Twist Active AMT
The Nano is being taken upmarket and a move in line with this approach is the Twist Active AMT variant of the pint sized hatchback. The Twist Active AMT adds a five speed automated manual transmission, features a brushless power steering and comes with an open-able hatch lid. With these changes, the Nano Twist Active AMT aims to be a favourite among city hatchbacks. The car will retain its 623 cc, twin cylinder petrol engine (37 Bhp-51 Nm) that drives the rear wheels. The new Nano variant is likely to be launched by the end of this year.
Tata Motors is developing a hatchback that will sit between the Nano and the new Bolt. Code-named the Kite, not much is known about the new budget hatchback. A 3 cylinder, 800cc petrol engine and a 1.05 liter-3 cylinder turbo diesel (64 Bhp-140 Nm) engine that was first showcased on the Manza Hybrid sedan could be offered on the Kite hatchback. CarToq’s sources reveal that Tata Motors is all set to induct the Kite hatchback into the testing scene, with a 2015 launch time frame in mind. A 2015 launch is on the cards.
Kite Compact Sedan
Maruti Suzuki is said to be developing a compact sedan based on the Celerio. Maruti’s new compact sedan will sit under the Swift Dzire and this segment is what Tata Motors seems to be aiming at with the compact sedan version of the Kite hatchback. Like its hatchback sibling, the Kite compact sedan could get petrol and turbo diesel engines, when it makes its entry in 2015.. As one of the least priced compact sedans in India and the world, the Kite might replace the Indigo eCS in India and might further lower the entry-price point for compact sedans.