Tata redefines passenger cars for modern customers

2016-03-24 06:00
Tata’s latest hatch, the Zica, has been renamed the Tiago, and may yet come to South Africa. PHOTO: QUICKPIC

Tata’s latest hatch, the Zica, has been renamed the Tiago, and may yet come to South Africa. PHOTO: QUICKPIC

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TATA Motors, India’s largest vehicle manufacturer, is displaying a host of new models at the 2016 Auto Expo in India.

All or some of these new models could be imported to South Africa after the various derivatives have undergone local static product clinics and dynamic evaluation on test tracks and public roads.

“Tata Motors is focused on bringing to market the most exciting and dynamic, youthful, high performance vehicles that should be segment-defining in terms of style and features,” said the president of the Tata Passenger Vehicle Business Unit, Mayank Pareek.

“The new range of Tata Motors vehicles showcased at Auto Expo will provide the market with a wider product choice while at the same time redefining our passenger cars for modern customers in terms of both styling and technology.”

The most important car on show was the small Zica hatchback, which is the first Tata model using the IMPACT global design cues from Tata’s facilities in Pune (India), the United Kingdom and Italy. The car was renamed due to the similarity between Zica the car and Zika the mosquito-borne virus. The new name for the Zica is Tiago, which name was shortlisted with Civet and Adore from over 37 000 suggestions submitted through social and mobile channels. The public voted that Tiago best fit the attractively styled new hatch from Tata.

Kyri Michael, the CEO of Accordian Investments which distributes Tata passenger cars and light commercials in South Africa, says that he is delighted the promise of significant new models is being fulfilled.

“We are most impressed with the new ranges on show at the Delhi Auto Show as they are much improved in all aspects and we believe they can be competitive in the South African market in the future.

“We are now looking forward to the roll-out of the new models to give added impetus to the Tata brand in the local passenger car market, starting later this year,” added Michael.

The brand building programme that started last year is being undertaken with the full support of Tata Motors which has invested significantly in market research on which to base the renewal programme.

This includes the introduction of new products, improving the dealer network by upskilling dealer personnel and restructuring the head office to make the whole operation more efficient.

One of the models shown in India that will do well in South Africa is a perfomance Bolt.

Tata teamed up with Jayem Automotives to develop this Sport hatchback based on the Bolt. It is powered by a modified Revotron 1.2T turbocharged engine with special exhaust system to provide higher power (83 kW) and torque (170 Nm) which results in acceleration from 0-100 km/h in 12 seconds.

Performance suspension using retuned springs and dampers for a harder but lower ride ensure improved roadholding and handling, but in Tata tradition, this go-faster Bolt looks to be what the Citi Golf was, an affordable hot hatch. - Supplied.

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