Tata Motors launches 8 models, revamps almost its entire line-up

You know that a company is in desperate times when they launch not one, not two, but eight new models on a single day. Don't rub your eyes, you read that right. However surprising it might be, that's exactly what Tata Motors did.

Those who are closely watching the Indian automotive industry would know that Tata Motors is going through very tough times of late. Except its age-old Indica and Indigo that are still doing reasonably well in the taxi market, none of the other Tata models, from the basic Nano to the flagship Aria, are selling in consistently good numbers to write about. In fact, sales and market share of Tata models has dropped drastically to such an extent that we wouldn't be surprised if the head honchos at Tata spent a few sleepless nights.

To try and stem falling sales and recover from the worst slump that the company has experienced over the last few decades, the big boffins at Tata Motors achieved a coup of sorts yesterday by launching facelifts and refreshed versions of almost its entire line-up. Launched along with the 8 new models was "Horizonext", a strategic initiative from Tata to improve its passenger vehicles business unit. Ask any Tata customer about the ownership experience and the three major grouses would be a less-than-satisfactory dealership experience, quality niggles and an after-sales service that's way below competing brands. With intense customer focus, world-class manufacturing practices, enriched customer purchase experience and consistent quality of service as its four pillars, the Horizonext strategy is targeting exactly those problems and promises to make owning Tata models a far better experience.

The first model launched was the Indigo eCS facelift. Featuring blackened twin-barrel headlights, a chrome-garnished radiator grille, new alloy wheels, a chrome strip in the boot, better-quality interiors and a new instrument cluster with twin octagonal dials, this facelift is a move to bring in some excitement to the Indigo eCS range. Though the frugal CR4 engine is carried over from the old model, it is now mated to an all-new cable shift transmission called the 'F-Shift'. The new Indigo eCS also features an upgraded suspension system for better ride quality.

Next up was the refreshed Sumo Gold with additional features that brings the aging model on par with the competition. A dual air-conditioning system with roof-mounted vents for the second row, a music system with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, a wood-finish center console, one touch down power windows, an improved suspension system and body graphics differentiate the new Sumo Gold from the earlier models. Unfortunately, the external design is still the same old shape that has soldiered on since 1994.

The Nano, India's cheapest car, also gets a host of upgrades in the form of 2013 CY model. The list of add-ons include chrome strips at the front and rear, three new colour options, larger cooling vents at the rear, an integrated music system with Bluetooth, USB and Aux inputs, four speakers, remote keyless entry and two new storage compartments in the dashboard. In what is a brilliant move aimed at increasing the appeal of the car, four personalization kits have been launched for the Nano. Dubbed Alpha, Jet, Peach and Remix, these packages bring in body kits, snazzy stickers and sporty alloy wheels, adding a lot of character to the little car.

A mildly-refreshed Indica with improved interiors and a chrome strip on the rear tailgate and a new variant of the Safari Storme called the "Explorer Edition" were also launched at the event. To add justice to the "Explorer Edition" moniker, a huge compass decal on the bonnet and the sides, badges on the front fenders, a double DIN touch-screen infotainment system, chrome surrounds on the headlamps and taillamps, a nudge guard up front and leather seat covers are part of the package.

Bringing the total count of new launches to eight, CNG variants of the Nano, Indica and the Indigo were also launched. To be badged as "emax", these alternate fuel variants are equipped with a button on the dashboard to switch between petrol and CNG. Though the running costs are expected to come down significantly, the flip-side is that there is absolutely no usable boot space in any of these three CNG models.

All these face-lifted and refreshed models would go on sale in Tata showrooms across the country between the next few days and the next few months, priced a few thousands more than the existing models. Well, Tata's commitment to improve and address the issues in its models are clearly evident. But, will the car-buying public ignore the aging designs and the negative brand image and give a thumbs-up for these improved Tatas? Watch this space!


  1. To make up, their JLR division is growing in India.

    1. But, they can't ignore their core brand at any cost, can they?