Tata Motors’ latest strategy to regain its share in the domestic passenger cars market includes boosting its dealership network in small towns, securing more sales from older models, and cultivate mobile workshops to offer doorstep vehicle service.
Looking to clock “a very healthy double-digit growth in sales” this fiscal, Tata will add 200 showrooms this year by opening 1 outlet every day after July. The company plans to have 1,500 outlets in the next 5 years.
Mayank Pareek, Tata Motors President (Passenger Vehicles Business Unit), said, “We need to expand our network, we need to be able to reach to customers and not the other way round. We are present in 359 cities currently, which is hardly adequate. We would like to have 1,500 outlets in the next five years.” He added that Tata aims “to have a presence in all the 651 districts” of the country.
He went on to explain that in order to optimise sales from older models like Indica and Indigo, Tata Motors is tapping smaller towns where there is no segregation of commercial and personal usage segments.
Pareek said, “Ours is such a big country and there is a market for all these models. We are not going to depend on just new models. Taxi phenomenon is only in the top 10-12 cities of India. When you go to smaller places, our cars have a good brand equity in personal usage segment.”
He explained that Tata Motors grew by 15 per cent in the second half of the last fiscal, while the automobile industry recorded a growth of just 5.5 per cent. “This was happening not only because of (new models) Zest and Bolt, but our existing models were also churning. We have put in a lot of efforts to make the most out of our old models,” he said.
Tata Motors’ passenger vehicles recorded sales of 10,230 units compared with 7,441 sold in April 2014, up 37 per cent. In 2014-15, the company’s domestic passenger vehicles sales stood at 1,34,080 units, down 3 per cent from the previous fiscal.
About the mobile after-sales service, Pareek said the company is working on a pilot project in 3 cities on customer service. Once the pilot programme is over, and based on the feedback, the company would roll it out at a national level.
As far as new products go, Pareek said, “We need new products. This year, we will have at least two new products, if not more. We have a robust product plan till 2020. We know there are gaps in our portfolio such as compact SUV segment, which we are definitely going to fill some time in future.”