Prices start at Rs 5.49 lakh; Tata Motors expects it to be its top-seller

Prices start at Rs 5.49 lakh; Tata Motors expects it to be its top-seller


Riding on the growing popularity of sport utility vehicles (SUV), on Monday launched its smallest SUV Punch with the intention of wooing buyers of small cars at a starting price of Rs 5.49 lakh ex-showroom.

The Punch will take on the popular models like the Maruti Suzuki Swift and Hyundai Grand i10, offering a sub-compact SUV as an alternative to the hatchbacks. The new car will be sitting right at the heart of a segment where almost 900,000 cars are sold annually — across entry and premium hatchback and entry sedans.

“Even though the SUV market has evolved till the compact SUV segment, it has hit a hurdle at the 4-metre mark. Customers have no option (below this) for a product that offers a true SUV experience,” said Shailesh Chandra, president of the passenger vehicle division at Tata Motors while announcing the car’s price on Monday.

Tata Motors expects the Punch to be the top selling model in its portfolio and help the brand move towards a monthly volume of 30,000-35,000 units — assisting it move closer to posting a pretax profit in the passenger vehicle business, said people in the know. The business had posted a loss of Rs 1,558 crore before interest and tax in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021.

Such is the confidence that the company has given a production plan of 8,000 units for the Punch in October. Its Pune plant is expected to hit the third shift of operation in production for the first time in over a decade.

In a recent interview with ET, Chandra said the Punch was aimed at people who would have a slightly lesser budget but were aspiring to own an SUV.

“We are definitely looking at very high volumes. With the Nexon we are doing about 10,000 units a month. Punch, with its strong value proposition, will be bringing in significant incremental volumes for the brand,” Chandra had said, while declining to share specific numbers.

With sustained demand for all the models in its portfolio, the company is on track to sell 300,000 passenger vehicles this fiscal year.

Tata Motors sold around 148,000 cars and SUVs in the first half of FY22, which was nearly double of the volume a year earlier, despite being hurt by lockdowns and chip shortage. Thanks to a sharp outperformance with industry, Tata Motors’ passenger vehicle market share rose to around 11% in the September quarter, the highest in eight years and compared with just 4.8% in FY20.



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