Tata Motors on January 22 launched the premium hatchback Altroz at a starting price of Rs 5.29 lakh (ex-showroom), undercutting segment leader Maruti Baleno, which is priced at Rs 5.58 lakh.
The diesel version of Altroz is priced at Rs 6.99 lakh. The top-end variant of petrol model is priced at Rs 7.69 lakh while the diesel version is priced at Rs 9.29 lakh. Overall, there will be five variants of the hatchback on offer in addition to four customisation packs.
Besides Baleno, Altroz will compete against the Hyundai Elite i20, the second best-seller, Honda Jazz, Toyota Glanza and Volkswagen Polo. The Altroz is powered by BS-VI engines. With the Altroz Tata Motors covers 70 percent of the passenger vehicle market.
The Altroz is the only hatchback available in India to get a GNCAP five star safety rating (the highest) for crash tests. The car makes use of all-new Alfa platform. It is also built wider and taller than the Baleno and Elite 20 and also has the segment-best boot space.
The premium hatchback segment generates average monthly volumes of 30,000-35,000 units with Maruti commanding a share of around 50 percent. The Altroz was first showcased at the 2018 Auto Expo as 45X concept. The car will be sold through each of the 874 dealerships.
The car gets touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 18cm instrument cluster and turn-by-turn navigation. A Harman system is connected to the infotainment unit which also doubles up as display unit up during reverse parking.
Powering the car are 3-cylinder 1.2 litre petrol and 4-cylinder 1.5 litre diesel engines, both mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. Both engines have been borrowed from the existing Tata models.
There is no automatic transmission on offer at present on the Altroz. The petrol model generates peak power of 86ps while the diesel model generates power of 90ps. The car will come with two driving modes, Eco and City.
"We promised to kick-start the year with a product offensive and here we are. We are delighted by today’s firework of launches, all in this single event and introduce the new face of Tata passenger cars which are not only BS-VI ready, but are designed and developed to truly enhance the value proposition for our aspiring customers. With the class defining, new premium hatchback, Altroz, we are expanding our market coverage further. We have lots more in store for 2020 and we have just commenced unveiling our well-defined future product portfolio," said Guenter Butschek, CEO & Managing Director, Tata Motors.
The company showcased three other models - Nexon, Tiago, Tigor - with BSVI engines. Only the Nexon diesel has been upgraded to BS-VI while Tiago and Tigor will not have the diesel option under BS-VI as of now. As per regulations all cars sold after April 1 should be powered by a BS-VI engine.
The BS-VI Nexon petrol is priced at at Rs 6.95 lakh while the diesel model is priced at Rs 8.45 lakh. The Tiago petrol BS-VI is priced at Rs 4.6 lakh while the Tigor petrol BSVI is priced at Rs 5.75 lakh.
With the launch of the Altroz Tata Motors is hoping for a turnaround in sales. During the nine months ended December 31, 2019 the company clocked sales of 99,197 units, fall of 37 percent compared to 156,397 units sold in the same period in 2018.Tata Motors officials have stated in the past about a clean-up of inventory at the wholesale end which started from early this year. From around 28,000 units in April Tata Motors' inventory has come down to 7200 units in January, as per a company official, which is equivalent to a week's stock.