The Indian auto industry is going through a difficult stage. For the past couple of years, the market has not been encouraging, thanks to the sluggish and inflating economy, increasing interest rates, high fuel prices and this list is infinite. Automakers like Tata Motors which has been the pride of the country in making affordable passenger cars, has seen a tremendous drop in market share. It was the first major drop in a decade - 7.94 per cent from 17 percent nearly 10 years ago. To revive its position in the market, Tata Motors is now gearing-up for new model launches in the compact sedan and premium hatch segment space. Other than this, facelifted version of Nano and Safari Storme will also act as boosters. Take a sneak peak at upcoming launches.
Tata Zest and Tata Bolt
For past many years Tata hasn't introduced any top-notch product in the sub-compact category. These new offerings could prove to be a game changer. Both Zest and Bolt and carved on the Vista platform and will bring in companys new 'DESIGNEXT' design philosophy. Where Zest will counter the likes of Maruti Swift Dzire, Honda Amaze and Hyundai Xcent. Bolt, on the other hand, will tackle the premium hatchback segment reined by Swift, Hyundai i20 and similar cars.
Talking about the design, the front remains identical with swept back projector headlamps merging well with the new grille framework. There will be an additional daytime-running-light-LEDs on Zest for the style quotient! Zest will be getting 15 & 16-inch alloys, while Bolt will be given 14 & 15-inch trendy pair of alloy wheels depending on the variants. The rear profile is sportier in Bolt with rear spoiler and tiny lamps, while Zest will target sober audience.
All the 'bells and whistles' seem to be inherited from Vista/Manza duo while there will be a new Harman touchscreen infotainment system to give these cars a contemporary touch. Both the cars will be getting the same diesel and petrol engines where petrol motor is a newly developed 1.2L 84bhp Revotron turbo engine, diesel engine will be same 1.3L Quadrajet motor made by Fiat that develops 75-92 bhp. Zest would be equipped with anAutomated-Manual-Transmission system.Pricing is yet to be announced at the time of launch, while it is speculated that Zest and Bolt would be priced competitively to Dzire and Swift.
Tata Nano facelift
Let bygones be bygones is what Tata Nano is trying to convey. After seeing very bad times in its entire history, the tiny car is all set to don a new avatar. The facelift has been caught several time running test mules. The refreshed Nano will sport redesigned bumper, revamped fog lamps enclosure plus smoked headlights at the front. Rear would be tweaked to induce freshness, while there will be major changes inside the car. The seats upholstery will get updated, while the center console will get dark brown accents to give it a more grown-up look. One of the major update Nano will get will be in the form of Automated-Manual-Transmission, which is getting overwhelming response in the market as evident from Maruti Celerio's sales. All these changes could turn the fortunes of this most affordable and perhaps the most neglected small car in India.
Tata Safari Storme
It is speculated that this time it would come with major changes inside-out. The new Harmon infotainment system that has been introduced in Zest and Bolt will make its way in the upcoming Safari Storme facelift. Mechanically, it will be getting Arias 2.2L VARICOR engine in a tuned state. Company will also introduce an automatic version of this car with a 6-speed ZF autobox. Tata Safari Storme has bore the brunt of poor marketing which has resulted in steep drop in its popularity. It was launched in 2012 but hasnt seen remarkable response. Hope this update could resuscitate the sales chart.
Besides this, Cyrus Mistry, the current chairman of Tata Motors is leaving no stone unturned in bringing the best products in the market. He has been deeply involved on design aspects besides keeping an eagle eye on manufacturing quality levels and type of materials used. Looking at the intense competition in the market, it seems Tata Motors is now in serious mood to recover the lost grounds.