Sales of Tata Ace mini-truck crosses 1 Million units

It’s amazing how Tata Motors, with all the brickbats that it receives on a regular basis, continues to be a trend-setter in the automotive space, often creating whole new segments in the process. We need not remind you about the flutter that Tata created across the globe when the Nano, unfortunately popularized as the ‘world’s cheapest car’, was first unveiled at the 2008 Auto Expo. At the same time, not many would be remembering the Nano’s predecessor of sorts, a model that followed the same concept as Nano, in commercial vehicles. Yes, we are referring to the Ace mini-truck, a success story beyond description.

The Ace was conceived and developed to fill a void in the market for last-mile goods carriers, where Tata Motors thought was great potential. That was a segment dominated by rickety and noisy three-wheelers like Piaggio Ape, Force Minidor and Mahindra Champion Alfa. Boy, were they right? The arrival of Ace not only created an all-new segment in the commercial vehicle space but also spelled doom for the three-wheeled goods carriers. The advantages of Ace in terms of comfort, stability and power vis-à-vis the competing three-wheelers were glaringly obvious and too good to ignore for the customers. As a result, the Ace went from strength to strength and forced every other manufacturer out there to come out with a model to compete against it. Mahindra Maxximo, Force Trump, Piaggio Ape Truk, Ashok-Leyland Dost, etc. should thank Tata Motors for their very existence.

First launched in 2005, the Ace was an instant hit and sales during the initial period was restricted only due to limited production capacity. Once the Pantnagar plant in Uttarakhand came on steam with a capacity of 500,000 units per year, sales shot up significantly. As is the norm with Tata, they just kept adding variants to the Ace line-up, the most significant being the Ace Magic people-carrier which has stormed the semi-urban and rural marketplace. To give you an idea, Tata now sells Ace HT, Super Ace and Ace Zip in goods segment and Ace Magic, Magic Iris and Venture in the passenger segment, all of which are based on the same platform. It doesn’t end there. Tata Motors is planning to launch a facelift of the mini-truck called the Ace EX along with many new variants to keep the Ace line-up as fresh as a daisy.

With cumulative sales of the Ace mini-truck crossing 1 Million units, Tata Motors recently held a press release to celebrate the occasion. The landmark was achieved in August-2012, just 2680 days from the date of its launch. While it took 2 years to cross the first 100,000 units, sales crossed 500,000 units in 2010, just 5 years after launch. The remaining 500,000 units, remarkably, were crossed in just 2 years. To put this achievement in the right perspective, the Ace has crossed 1 million unit sales quicker than some super-successful passenger cars in India like the Maruti-Suzuki Alto and Hyundai Santro.

Without a doubt, the Ace family has become a phenomenon in India like no other. The best part is that this success is all set to continue. If only Tata could replicate this in the passenger car segment with the Nano, we would be glad!

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