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Compact SUVs on Tata menu

Calcutta, Jan. 8: Tata Motors is planning to enter the compact SUV segment and will offer them in monocoque designs on the Indica and Manza platforms.

“We are looking at the compact SUV segment and are going to have products in that segment pretty soon,” said Ashesh Dhar, head of utitily vehicles, Tata Motors, who was in the city today to launch the upgraded Tata Safari Storme.

Tata Motors’ sales in the utility vehicle segment last year grew 22 per cent to 55,000 units, on the back of the Safari Dicor, Sumo Gold and Aria. It is now looking at the compact SUV segment to keep its leadership in the utility vehicle market.

“We sold 16,000 units of the Safari Dicor in the last fiscal and 27,000 Sumo Golds in the same period. We have sold 3,900 Arias in the current financial year till date,” said Dhar.

The company is set to launch a stripped down version of the Aria, called Aria LX, in the east. Priced at Rs 9.95 lakh, it will be cheaper than the base price of the Tata Safari Storme, which costs Rs 10.04 lakh. The company has already launched the Aria LX in the south.

“We have to be present in all segments of the SUV since we are primarily known for our utility vehicles. But we are not just looking to build softroaders (compact SUVs). We are also refurbishing our existing portfolio and that is also paying dividends.

“Our Tata Sumo Gold, for example, is doing extremely well and is a segment leader. We have sold 27,000 units of the new Sumo since its launch, up from 20,000 units, posting a growth of 80 per cent,” Dhar said.

Tata Motors will not phase out the Safari Dicor with the launch of the Storme. “We will continue to produce both the Safaris. The Dicor has a demand and so long as customers want the vehicle we will build it,” said Dhar.

 
 
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