Tata Motors gears to 'Punch' in new models


By Rohit Vaid New Delhi, Sep 27 : Automobile major Tata Motors' aims to make the most of the upcoming festive season via new market interventions, including those powered by the cheaper CNG fuel along with its 'Punch' into the sub-compact SUV segment. However, the auto giant remains concerned over high fuel prices and the semiconductor supply crisis. In a conversation with IANS, Shailesh Chandra, President, Passenger Vehicles Business, Tata Motors said: "Demand started growing in June 2021 once the scare of second wave of Covid-19 was over. "Over the last couple of months demand is moving on an upward trajectory and has been close to Q4FY21 level." Last month, Tata Motors' total passenger vehicle sales rose to 28,018 units from 18,583 units' off-take in August 2020. Notably, he cited that 'Pent-up' demand has only moderately pushed up sales in 2021, unlike last year. "Going forward, the outlook remains strong for upcoming festive season owing to a shift towards personal mobility." Already, the company has launched the 'Dark' variant of its best selling models along with Tiago NRG and EV. "We have lined up exciting interventions, factory fitted CNG powertrain option for some of our models, and the much awaited sub-compact SUV 'Punch'." On the fuel inflation front, Chandra pointed out that fuel prices are affecting the demand for entry level cars. "Entry level segment has been witnessing stress since the start of the financial year as buyers of the segment are sensitive to rising fuel cost and increasing vehicle prices." "They (first time car buyers) have been careful on spending because of the scare of the Covid third wave. We are closely watching the segment as we do expect recovery during the festive season." Furthermore, in line with the rise in sales, the automobile manufacturer has expanded its dealership footprint to 1,000 touch points. "We have undertaken a task to expand our dealership network in line with the volume aspiration that we have. As on YTD we have opened 1,000 outlets which is up from 800 outlets in FY20." "Going forward, we are working to improve our presence by benchmarking with competition and micro-markets that are identified as attractive." In addition, he said that as the nationwide vaccination coverage increases, consumers may overcome their hesitation to commit to purchasing a car, especially in the value-conscious segment. "This will help in driving demand for entry level cars apart from other segments." "Customers would continue to seek for the safety and health of their family and themselves, which will favorably impact car sales." (Rohit Vaid can be contacted at rohit.v@ians.in) /IANS


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