Tata Motors is leaving no stone unturned to boost sales and brand value in India. The company is planning to launch new and face-lifted variants of its current models including the Nano, Safari, Manza and Indica Vista this financial year.
Upcoming Tata Nano variants
Tata Motors is tight lipped about the new variants of the Nano that are to be launched in the current financial year. But expectations are high regarding the launch of the Nano’s diesel version. The Nano diesel will likely to be priced 5-20% (approx. Rs. 27,000) higher than the petrol version. Related: Tata Nano diesel India launch soon
The Nano diesel will be powered by a 700 cc 2-cylinder engine developed by Bosch and will return an incredible mileage of 40 km/litre under standard test conditions. Also read: Tata Nano micro-hybrid planned
Reports have already emerged regarding the launch of a micro-hybrid version of the Tata Nano. What is popularly called micro-hybrid technology is essentially an automatic stop-start technology that saves fuel especially when driving in city traffic.
New Tata Safari
Tata Motors is planning to refresh the ageing Safari this financial year as well. Tata will use an all-new platform for the Safari and will call it the ‘Merlin’. However, spy photos taken by several sources hint that the new Safari will be at the most, a face-lifted version of the present 2.2 litre Dicor engine powered Safari. Also read: Tata Safari Merlin 2011 spy photo revealed
The Merlin will likely come with a dual mass flywheel that powers the newly launched Tata Aria. A standard or optional 4×4 all-wheel drive will likely be offered on the upcoming Safari, though the company may retain the present Borg-Warner part-time system as well.
Based on the spy shots, the new Safari could have squarish face drawing strong cues from second generation Range Rover models. The rear of the new Safari will also get a squarish treatment matching the SUV’s front design. When launched, the new Tata Safari (Merlin) will take on the tried and tested Mahindra Scorpio.
New Tata Indica Vista
Tata Motors launched the Indica Vista in August 2008, as a premium small car, essentially to take on the Maruti Suzuki Swift. The Indica Vista was vastly improved in many departments such as interiors, NVH (noise vibration and harshness) factors, engine refinement etc that the cheaper Indica V2 lacks.
But, the Vista’s competition has now raised the bar and hence despite Tata’s VFM (Value for Money) pricing strategy, the Vista is an average selling car while Maruti Swift and Ford Figo are the strong sellers in the similar price band.
Hope, the new Vista will likely have more juice to fight with upcoming cars like the next-generation Maruti Suzuki Swift, Honda Brio and Toyota Liva (Etios based small car).
Tata Manza limited edition
Tata Motors launched the refreshed variants of the Manza dubbed ‘Elan’ in the last fiscal (February 2011). Whether the launch of Elan has boosted the sales in the past few months, is best known only to the company.
But, considering the fact that Tata Motors collective sale in the sedan segment has witnessed significant increase (55% growth), we can assume that the Manza Elan helped Tata grab more buyers. Also read: Tata Motors launches new Manza with cosmetic changes
The company will likely launch a special edition Manza to attract buyers seeking ‘exclusivity’. The Elan was essentially a cosmetic makeover to take on the onslaught of the Toyota Etios and Maruti Dzire. So far, no clues have emerged about the upcoming Manza’s limited edition model.
Tata Aria 2WD (two-wheel-drive)
Tata Motors is planning to launch a two-wheel-drive version of its Tata Aria crossover which is currently available only as a four-wheel-drive version. The company will launch the Aria 4×2 (front-wheel-drive) within the next six months. Also read: Tata Aria 4×2 version likely
The new Aria will likely be priced at roughly Rs. 1 lakh lesser than the current 4×4 version. Expect a base version of the Aria 4×2 to be priced at roughly Rs. 2.5 lakh lower than the current base model price of Rs. 12.9 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
The decision of launching a 4×2 variant of the Aria was likely taken due to the dismal sales of the Aria (especially in March 2011 which was only 98 units). Tata tried to position the Aria as a crossover between a car and an SUV but failed to attract either buyer.
If the Aria is launched at a substantially lower price range by excluding the four-wheel-drive, it will have a positive impact on sales for Tata.