Tata Motors beats Mahindra to become third largest carmaker
Best selling model Nexon SUV helps it to regain 3rd spot it had lost five years ago

The strategy of new generation cars has helped Tata Motors to regain its third largest carmaker position  in the country ahead of the targetted year  of 2019. With demand rising for its new cars such as Nexon SUV, Tigor sedan and Tiago hatchback, Tata Motors beat rival and utility vehicle specialist Mahindra to fourth position last week-end. Maruti Suzuki, which sells one out of two cars bought in the country, is the dominant market leader, followed by Korean brand Hyundai.

Tata Motors best selling model Nexon SUV helped it regain the third spot it had lost to Mahindra some five years ago. Sales at Tata Motors soared by a whopping 35 per cent at 17,157 units during November as against 16,030 units clocked by Mahindra and Mahindra, a growth of 21 per cent during the same month year-on-year basis.

Tata Motors told Financial Chronicle that its volume surge was led primarily by the recently launched Nexon compact SUV, Tigor sedan and Tiago hatchback. These models have been generating more than 60 per cent of the total monthly volumes of the company.

But auto analysts said they have to wait and watch if Tata Motors can sustain sales for the whole year as the margin between two rivals was not that big. They pointed out that a similar episode happened last year in the same month, when Tata Motors outsold Mahindra & Mahindra with a little margin.

Tata Motors shareholders had severely criticised the company at the annual general meeting chaired by Rata Tata five years ago when Mahindra had dethroned it from the third spot. “I have a certain degree of sadness and shame that we let Mahindra overtake us,” the then chairman Tata had told shareholders.

Guenter Butschek, managing director at Tata Motors, had promised to return to the third spot in the passenger vehicle space outlining a turnaround strategy without giving a timeline. Tata Motors was at the fifth spot when Butschek took over the reins in mid-Feb last year. Undoubtedly, Tata Motors had made some rapid strides during the last many months to push sales and gain market share. These included expanding its product portfolio to attract young buyers, overhauling of its sales and service network and improved incentives for high performers, especially in sales.

“On the back of good demand for our new generation cars – Tiago, Tigor, Hexa and our recently launch compact SUV, Nexon, we continue to maintain a robust growth trajectory,” Mayank Pareek, president, passenger vehicles at Tata Motors, said.

He said to meet the growing demand, the company has ramped up production of the Nexon and recently rolled out the 10,000th Nexon from its factory at Ranjangao in Maharashtra.

On its part, Mahindra & Mahindra, which has been under some pressure from competition, especially Maruti Suzuki, which overtook it as the biggest utility vehicle maker by sales, is readying two all-new products for the launch spread over the next 12 months. These include a compact, stylish sport utility vehicle and a multi-seater vehicle like the hot selling Toyota Innova Crysta.


Michael Gonsalves