Tata Motors aims to have the widest portfolio of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) in the domestic market, a move aimed at helping the company muster greater market share in the passenger vehicle segment, according to a top company official. The auto major, which currently sells models like Nexon and Harrier in the SUV segment, is also looking to overhaul its entire sales, aftersales and service verticals to enhance the overall buying experience for customers.
"The move to shift to SUVs is very clear. There is a shift happening towards the SUV segment not only in India but globally also. In 2015 the share of SUVs in the domestic market used to be only 15 per cent but this year it is around 30 per cent," Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles Business Unit President Shailesh Chandra told PTI. It is therefore imperative that whosoever has greater share of SUVs in the portfolio will have a greater pie, share of the market, he added.
"So we have taken note of that sometime back and accordingly targeted to have the widest SUV portfolio," Chandra said. Both Nexon and Harrier were doing great in the market in terms of sales numbers, he noted.
"Harrier has seen a significant jump from what we were doing last year on the back of the new automatic version we have come out with. Nexon did its highest ever sales last month and I hope it continues to do well," Chandra said. The company is now gearing up to roll out two new models in the portfolio.
"Going forward two additional models are going to come- Gravitas and Hornbill (codenames). Gravitas will be a seven-seater SUV while Hornbill will be a sub compact SUV so we will have four SUVs in our portfolio which would be the widest portfolio," Chandra said. Hornbill with a very aggressive position at one end and Gravitas at the other end, the company with four products would be well poised to tap the growing trend towards SUVs, he noted.
"It would help strengthen our market position and sales in the coming years," Chandra said. The company plans to launch the Gravitas during the last quarter of this fiscal. It is yet to fix a date for the Hornbill introduction.
Chandra said the company is focusing a lot on improving the sales and aftersales experience for its customers. "For us it is one of the key areas on our agenda to transform. A whole bit of work has started with focus on how we can enhance the whole experience. The employees are being imparted soft skills apart from technical training," he noted.
The company is also focusing on the issues with its dealer partners including their financial health and profitability, Chandra said. "There have been instances of too many channel partners in one territory. There have been issues, so we are comprehensively going territory wise and seeing the health of the network. The second focus is reach and penetration, whether it meets our growth aspirations which we have for that specific territory," he noted.
The company has over 800 dealerships for its passenger vehicle portfolio across the country.