Tata Motors to drive into small town India
Tata Motors is ramping up its network expansion in smaller towns, looking to notch up more sales from its older models, besides working on mobile workshops to offer customers vehicle service at the doorstep. This is part of <g data-gr-id="44">strategy</g> to regain its lost ground in domestic passenger cars segment.
The company, which is looking to clock “a very healthy double-digit growth in sales” this fiscal, will open one outlet every day after July to add 200 showrooms this year alone as part of its plan to have 1,500 outlets in the next five years. “We need to expand our network, we need to be able to <g data-gr-id="51">reach to</g> 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,” Tata Motors President (Passenger Vehicles Business Unit) Mayank Pareek said.
He said the aim of the company is “to have a presence in all the 651 districts” of the country. “This year we will add 200 outlets, which is opening one outlet every day after July,” Pareek said. In order to optimise sales from older car models like Indica and Indigo, he said Tata Motors is tapping smaller towns where there is no segregation of commercial and personal usage segments.
“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 said. Explaining how the company has been able to work on the strategy front, Pareek said that last fiscal, when the industry grew around 6 per cent in the first half, Tata Motors had a decline of 19 <g data-gr-id="61">per cent</g> in sales. “In the second half of the fiscal, when the industry was again growing 5.5 per cent, we grew 15 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.
Pareek added: “The mantra has been to at least hold on to previous year’s numbers of the old models... We want to take care of all cars in our portfolio. We also want to bring that culture to Tata Motors, that of being able to sell good numbers from our older models.”
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. “This year, we are looking at a very healthy double-digit growth in sales. We would like to again reach the monthly figures of 20,000 units which we did in the past. I would not like to put a time on achieving that target, but certainly, we need to cross that number,” he pointed out.
On improving after-sales service, Pareek said: “We are working on a pilot project in three cities on customer service. It is aimed at taking car service to the doorstep of our customers. We will have mobile service workshops, which will go to homes of our customers and repair at their place instead of them coming and waiting at the workshops.” He said that once the pilot programme is over in the next three months and based on the feedback, the company would roll it out at a national level. When asked about new products, he said: “We need new products. This year, we will have at least two new <g data-gr-id="63">products,</g> 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.”