Tata Motors has been losing market share over time in the utility vehicle segment. Its Safari and Sumo have lost more than 8% market share to end at 13% in 2009-10 from 21% in 2006 – 07. Their loss has been the gain for models like Xylo, Bolero, Scorpio, Innova etc. This led the panic buttons ringing throughout the top management of Tata Motors. And the result?
They have come out with their first multi–utility vehicle (MUV), Tata Aria in 15 years. The interesting fact about this MUV is that it has the finesse of a sedan and the ruggedness of an SUV. This combo itself positions it on a very interesting and unique platform. It is one of the most premium and Feature packed vehicle to come out of the Tata Motors stable.
So what are the objectives Tata Motors expects to achieve with this new model? From what I see, there are two main points which they seem to have considered.
- Tata Aria aims to address more than one segment of customers. Its competitors include high end versions of Xylo and Innova, sedans, multipurpose vehicles and also premium sports utility vehicles like Honda CRV, Mitsubishi Outlander etc. This could actually be a gamble – in a bid to address more customers, they may end up satisfying none – only time will tell.
- To boost Tata Motors falling market share in the utility vehicle segment
Tata Aria is powered by 2.2L engine generating 140PS of peak power and 320Nm of peak torque. Aria comes with standard Adapterra (4WD) mode on all variants. Aria will come in three variants – Aria pride, aria prestige and aria pleasure. Aria comes with long list of features including satellite navigation and Electronic stability program.
Technology, Design and Finesse are the three key points on which the Aria is based. Aria also offers a number of unique safety and electronics features which are somewhat of a first in the country for cars in its own segment. This proves one thing. One of Tata’s unsaid objectives for releasing this model is to show its technological prowess and innovation.
Designed with an eye on the international markets of Europe, SAARC, Middle East and South Africa, Aria offers Tata Motors an interesting opportunity.
But then it’s not going to be an easy ride. Being in the premium segment, it is very difficult to scale it faster. With Skoda’s Yeti coming up in 2011 and Mahindra’s W201 (Code Named SUV) expected in 2012, this segment is set for some interesting competition.
So what is your opinion of Tata Aria – Will it be a hit or a miss ?