| Vice-president Rajiv Dube in New Delhi on Thursday. Picture by Ramakant Kushwaha
New Delhi, Sept. 4: Tata Motors today launched a new petrol-variant of its Safari premium sports utility vehicle and said it would launch two new products in the current financial year.
“We had three products, including this variant of Safari, in the pipeline. The other two will be launched before the end of this financial year,” said Rajiv Dube, vice-president of the automaker.
The new Safari carries a price tag of Rs 9,35,269 (ex-showroom Delhi), while its four-wheel drive version is priced at Rs 10.41 lakh.
The new model, powered by a 2.1-litre petrol engine, will help deliver 135 bhp, and compete more effectively with its foreign rivals, whose engines deliver power ranging from 120 to 150 bhp.
The Safari, first launched in January 1998 with a 90 horse power diesel engine, has faced competition over the past year from more powerful foreign entrants — the Chevrolet Forrester, the Suzuki Vitara, the Honda-CRV and the Hyundai Terracan.
“This is for those who have always been looking for a more powerful version of the Safari,” Dube said, adding he expected Safari's sales to rise by about 10 per cent from existing levels of nearly 300 units a month with its new offering.
“The market for premium vehicles, including sports utility vehicles, is at about 7,200 to 8,400 units a year and we do not expect to generate large volumes,” said Dube.
Dube said the Safari was locally produced and was therefore, about a third cheaper than its competitors, which were imported in fully-built form from their parents’ plants.