Tata motors coming up with Thar / Gypsy competitor
I am a small time Automotive component manufacturer based in Pune. On my frequent visits to various companies, I happen to see things which as an outsider make me more inquisitive. I have visited all the major manufacturers based around the Pune, Nasik belt and have seen some major developments taking place. On my recent visit to the ERC Pune (Tata factory), I happened to see something which really surprised me.
I saw a brand new Thar CRDe being driven into the R&D facility, as taking pictures are not allowed within the premises, I could not take any. On further inquiry with the employees working there, I was told that it is not surprising. It is a standard practice among companies to test competitor's vehicle (I missed the term used) to develop their product strategy. I kind of agree to this. I have also seen a Suzuki (3 door vehicle), a Renault vehicle (Kangoo?) being subjected to rigorous tests at the Tata Motor's facility. Attaching a sample photo of the Defender, which I saw in Tata Motors a few months back.
On closer inspection, I have found out that Tata Motor's are planning to come with a competition for Thar / Gypsy category. I am not surprised, considering the kind of response Thar has generated in the market.
I was discussing this with one of my relatives who works for a reputed Auto magazine. Whether bringing out a new product for such a niche segment would make sense? What kind of people will use it? What must be the pricing? And what must be the features in terms of:-
7. Wheels & Tires
8. Transmission, Transfer case, Axles (ratios)
10. Seating capacity
11. Auxiliaries and additional features if any.
The reason why I ask this is because, I own a 2003 model Safari 4WD and I am not too satisfied with its reliability, on road behavior. Resale value is also not good, so to expect Tata Motors to come with such a niche product makes be skeptical.
Yes, with the recent acquisition of JLR, Tata's have the technical backing but will it suffice? Even if they decide to come up with a product, what would be their best strategy? I am also told by one of my close friends (who is a senior HR employee) that, off late Tata Motors have hired many top executives from Mahindra & Suzuki who have proven capability with such niche vehicles. All this makes me excited and I feel something is cookingstupid:. Considering the fact, I need to get rid of my Safari (it is ageing) and as I travel long distances, drive-ability, comfort and peace of mind is what I look for. I hope they come up with a product with good specifications meeting my requirements.
What do you guys feel, is this possible?
Photo courtesy- Facebook