With Sierra, the company took its first shot at the SUV segment in the country.
Auto major Tata Motors on Saturday said its passenger vehicle vertical has crossed 40 lakh cumulative production milestone, nearly three decades after it rolled out its first model in the segment — Tata Sierra SUV in 1991. The company, which over the years has produced models like the Indica, Sierra, Sumo, Safari and the Nano, had achieved the 10 lakh production mark for passenger vehicles in 2005-06 and 30 lakh milestone in 2015.
"This is a very significant milestone for Tata Motors. Very few players in the industry have reached such a milestone. This has been a long journey since we rolled out Tata Sierra in 1991," Tata Motors President Passenger Vehicles Business Unit (PVBU) Shailesh Chandra told PTI. Over the years, the company always challenged the conventions and brought in many path breaking products, many times first in the market, like Sierra,Estate, Safari, Indica and the Nano, he added.
With Sierra, the company took its first shot at the SUV segment in the country. The company consolidated it further with Safari. Further in honour of the legacy of Sumant Moolgaonkar, Tata Motors introduced the first ever multi purpose vehicle in Tata Sumo. With Indica, the company changed the customer perception in terms of how a passenger vehicle is received.
The company set up the PVBU vertical in 1998 and the first product to roll out under its aegis was Indica. "It was the first indigenously developed car and since then we have always challenged conventions and have strived to bring in technologies which are supportive of the cause of the nation, whether it is safety or things related to sustainability," Chandra noted.
The company has been focussing not only on the safety aspect of its vehicles but has also been leading the electric vehicle space in the country, he said. "We have brought a paradigm shift to the industry that safety is also important otherwise it was not taken that seriously and to ensure that we were also the first company to commission crash safety testing in the country," Chandra said.
The company's compact SUV Nexon was the first model in the country to receive a 5-star rating from Global Ncap. Tata Motors is also the country's largest electric vehicle manufacturer with 67 per cent market share. It currently sells Nexon EV and two trims of Tigor, with different range, in the electric vehicle segment. The company also has ambitious plans to launch further electrified models in the future, with an electric version of its premium hatchback Altroz next in the line.
Chandra said with greater acceptance of its current model line up, the company would be able to reach the next 10 lakh production mark in much lesser time. "It will take us a shorter time to achieve the next one million production mark.
"So the industry should also reach higher peaks. It has been growing, barring last year and this year as well due to the pandemic, but the underlined fundamentals of the passenger vehicle industry remain intact whether it is from penetration perspective or buying capacity of people," Chandra said. From all the angles the growth story should come back as the economy also stabilises post pandemic, he added.
"So on the back of that growth and certain actions that we are taking to strengthen our product portfolio and the traction we are already seeing, I am sure the next one million should be faster then three to four million mark," Chandra said. The company now sells five BSVI compliant models — Tiago, Tigor, Nexon, Harrier and the Altroz.Tata Motors has manufacturing facilities at Chikhali, Pune; Sanand in Gujarat; and a joint venture plant with Fiat at Ranjangaon in Pune.