Tata Motors - Truly, a trend-setter

Tata Motors has this rare ability of splitting opinions whenever it comes for discussion in any forum. One complaint that almost everybody seems to have against Tata is the poor fit and finish and the sub-par level of quality in their cars. Agreed, Tata models are at the bottom of their segments as far as quality is concerned and in most cases, a one year old Tata will have more squeaks and rattles than a five year old competitor. But, let’s also not forget that Tata came into the business of making cars only in late nineties and they have made remarkable progress since then, the flagship Aria being a case in point. But, there is still a long way to go.

As much as we loathe the company for this, we ought to love Tata for a different reason – for being a trendsetter, not just in the Indian stage but on the global stage. When every other company and their bosses said that it is not possible to make and sell a car at that price, Tata proved them all wrong and launched the Nano to a stunned audience. Now, there are already news of an improved, feature-rich version and a common-rail diesel variant of the Nano hitting the market. I bet that, going into the future, the Nano platform would give rise to a number of models that are sure to succeed big-time. The Pixel Concept, based on the Nano platform, was a stunner and quite obviously, vowed the global audience.

Talking about platforms, how can we ever forget what Tata did with its Ace mini truck? They set a precedent, succeeded in their attempt, extracted every penny of investment that they made, maximized the utilization of the platform and more than anything else, forced every other competitor to follow them into that segment for survival. The Ace killed the three-wheeler load-carriers and went on to become a huge success. Tata did not sit still. Instead, they launched so many other variants in the same platform starting from the Super Ace and Ace Magic to the recent Venture, Ace Zip and Magic Iris. Even after launch, a lot of these models are still being tested hinting that more is in store for us.

By any chance, if you happen to visit Pune where one of the main manufacturing plants of Tata Motors is located, keep your eyes wide open. You can see every vehicle in the Tata stable from the diminutive Ace Zip to Indica to Aria to buses to heavy-duty trucks continuously being tested for various reasons. These are signs of a company that is not sitting still but working hard to improve with every subsequent model. The fact is, apart from Mahindra to a lesser extent, only Tata Motors has the real potential to become a world-class automobile manufacturer from India and they are well on track for becoming one. All they need is a little more time, a lot more new models and loads of belief and loyalty from us Indians. Go Tata, go!