After an intense focus on cars, it’s a year for SUVs at Tata Motors. On Monday, the Tata Group flagship launched the new Safari. With prices starting from Rs14.96 lakh going up to Rs 21.45 lakh (automatic transmission) the seven-seater SUV will compete with the Innova, the upcoming new Mahindra XUV5OO, among others.
“Both JLR and Tata Motors have collaborated to bring the best in class for Indian consumers,” said N Chandrasekaran, Chairman Tata Motors and Tata Sons at the launch. The new Forever Range unveiled in January 2020 has got an enormous response, he said pointing out that the new Safari will help in accelerating the growth momentum further for company’s passenger vehicles business.
To be available in seven trim levels, the Harrier sibling goes on sale across the country from today. This is the first of the two SUV models the Mumbai based firm plans to introduce this calendar year as it seeks to make a strong comeback in the SUV segment. It also hopes to increase the share of SUVs in its total sales. It accounts for 40 per cent currently.
“This calendar year, will be a year of SUVs at Tata Motors,” said Shailesh Chandra, president–passenger vehicle business unit at the firm. Tata Motors commenced bookings for the new model on February 4 has got a very good response said Chandra without divulging the bookings. Tata Motors’ SUV sales have advanced 20 per cent year to date over the last year and the new addition will accelerate the growth further, he added.
Codenamed Gravitas, in its new avatar, the Safari which ruled the Indian roads for two decades, is hoping to draw in contemporary SUV buyers who are looking for a vehicle that can match their multifaceted lifestyle, said Chandra.
The Safari will be followed by the Hornbill, a micro SUV that is expected to be launched in the latter part of the current calendar year. Tata Motors marketshare in the SUV segment increased to 6.47 per cent year on year in the first nine months of the fiscal.
“They have got the prices and the product right like rest of the models in their portfolio,” says Ravi Bhatia, president and director, JATO Dynamics. Bhatia expects many new launches in the seven seater segment as such models are in demand amid the pandemic. He doesn’t expect demand for people mover coming back in a hurry.
So far, the segment has been the stronghold of Toyota Kirloskar that has been straddling both the segments – the personal buyer segment as well as people mover with its Innova. The Innova will now have some competition,” said Bhatia.