Tata's Plan to Transform EVs in PV Lineup
【Summary】Tata Motors is revamping its passenger vehicle lineup, including electric vehicles (EVs), to stay competitive in the market. It has relaunched the Nexon, India's largest selling EV, and plans to introduce exclusive EV-only retail outlets in the future. The company aims to separate EVs and internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and focus on gadgetization for EVs. EVs currently contribute to 13-15% of Tata Motors' passenger vehicle sales and around 18-20% of revenue.
Tata Motors, the leading electric passenger vehicle company in India, is taking steps to revamp its passenger vehicle line-up, including electric vehicles (EVs), in order to stay competitive in a market where automakers are offering more choices for younger Indian buyers. To achieve this, the company is scaling up its EV production, which will allow for further localization and cost enhancements.
As part of the revamp, Tata Motors has relaunched the Nexon, India's largest selling electric car, as well as its IC-engine version. The starting price for the electric version is ₹14.74 lakh, while the IC-engine version starts at ₹8.09 lakh ex-showroom. Despite a recent dip in sales due to the phasing out of the earlier generation, the Nexon still sells around 14,000-15,000 units per month, making it one of the most popular SUVs in the country.
In addition to the relaunch, Tata Motors has established a new identity called Tata.ev, which aims to create dedicated EV storefronts and implement a distinct marketing strategy for electric vehicles. The company plans to gradually transition towards exclusive EV-only retail outlets, starting in cities where the market penetration is sufficient to make the model viable. This transition will be done in a phased approach, with a few stores being opened initially to learn the implications before expanding further. The new retail outlets are expected to be seen in the next few quarters.
Shailesh Chandra, the managing director of Tata Passenger Electric Mobility and Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles, stated that eventually, the company will need to separate the EV and IC-engine models, as they anticipate having a portfolio of 10 electric vehicles and a higher demand. Chandra also emphasized that the customers for EVs and IC-engine vehicles are different, with EV customers seeking a seamless and connected experience, considering their car as part of their gadget universe.
Currently, EVs account for 13-15% of Tata Motors' passenger vehicle sales and contribute to 18-20% of its revenue. The company sells approximately 6,500 EV units per month. While both the EV and IC-engine versions of the Nexon will receive significant upgrades, the EV version will showcase a more futuristic design and incorporate additional advanced features. Tata Motors also plans to launch mid-cycle refreshes of the Harrier and Safari SUVs.
The Harrier SUV, which competes with Mahindra's XUV700, is currently only available in a diesel version. Chandra explained that diesel is the most popular choice in this segment, with around 4,500 units of the Harrier and Safari being sold each month. Tata Motors is setting up a manufacturing unit for the 1.5 litre GDI petrol engine for the Harrier and Safari, indicating that petrol variants will be introduced in the future, but mid-cycle enhancements cannot wait for that long.
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