New product launches in passenger vehicles will have to be done keeping in mind external market conditions rather than sticking to deadlines, indicated a top Tata Motors
The company which has committed itself to launching two new products every year has had trouble sticking to deadlines, which has resulted in loss in launch momentum and even loss in potential customers.
Last calendar year the company launched just one new product in the market while the second new product will come after a gap of nine months, next week.
While its hatchback Tiago has become a runaway success since launch in April, 2016 its launch was delayed by more than three months. The premium sports utility vehicle Hexa which was to debut last calendar year is rescheduled for this month.
Similarly the automatic manual transmission version of the Tiago was earlier scheduled to come in around the festive season last year but has been subsequently rescheduled for next financial year.
Finally, the Nexon sports utility vehicle, Tata Motors’ biggest launch since Nano, has been pushed to next year. This is even as a compact sedan based on the Tiago platform is set for launch in a few months.
When contacted to confirm the launch date of Nexon a Tata Motors spokesperson told Moneycontrol: “We never anyways give specific timings of our product launches”.
Tata Motors was forced to postpone the launch of Tiago because of a last minute change to its brand name, which was called Zica earlier. The ban on sales of vehicles with more than 2 litre diesel engines impacted the launch of Hexa even prompting its engineers to explore option of downsizing its large diesel engines.
Subdued demand conditions at the retail level especially after demonetisation has created uncertainty over the launch of Nexon, believes a Tata Motors official. The compact SUV, which will compete against the Ford EcoSport and Maruti Brezza, will now be launched next year instead of 2017.
“Two (launches in a year) is just an indicator. It does not mean you can't do three. A little overlap you do, sometimes you modify your strategy. It makes more sense (sic). Honestly, whatever is happening now in the market (it) may not be the right time to introduce the product (Nexon). But the two (launches a year) is not that you swear by it”, said Mayank Pareek, President, Passenger Vehicle, Business Unit, Tata Motors.
Tiago is now contributing to half of Tata Motors passenger vehicle sales every month. Last month the company witnessed a growth of 35 percent in sales at 10,827 units compared to sales clocked in the same month previous year.