Connect with us

Auto

Safari and Harrier to shoulder Tata’s SUV legacy for next two decades: Pratap Bose

Published

on

NEW DELHI: Tata Motors left the entire auto industry surprised and its customers fascinated as it renamed the upcoming Tata Gravitas and resurrected its most popular nameplate, Safari. The Tata Safari will now be positioned at the top of the Indian automaker’s SUV portfolio. The SUV has been garnering a lot of attention ever since it was showcased at the 2020 Auto Expo and the pandemic-induced delays did not manage to overshadow the anticipation for Tata’s ambitious project.
As the Indian automaker is gearing up to unveil the 2021 Tata Safari in January, TOI Auto got into a conversation with Pratap Bose, VP-Global Design, Tata Motors, to understand what kind of efforts and planning went into giving the iconic nameplate a second run.

Rechristening and resurrection
While the news of renaming the Tata Gravitas may have come off as quite surprising, it seems like the automaker had earmarked the new-age SUV to take up Safari’s mantle ever since the project’s inception. The 2021 Tata Safari definitely has some big shoes to fill but the intricate planning that went behind the ambitious project does suggest that the new-age SUV is ready to put up a show in the market.
According to Bose, the 2021 Tata Safari has undergone many fundamental changes but that hasn’t compromised the iconic SUV’s character in any way. Based on the OMEGARC platform, which has been derived from Land Rover’s D8 platform, the iconic SUV is witnessing a massive change in this aspect as it is moving from the body-on-frame chassis to a monocoque. Keeping the SUV at par with the trends and regulations, Tata Motors has seen to it that the Tata Safari is future-proofed and can carry on the legacy of one of the most iconic SUVs.

The Safari formula
While the Tata Safari’s resurrection might not have been quite easy, the automaker still seemed to set a perfect foundation for the icon’s re-entry in the market. When the project first began in 2016, Tata already had Land Rover’s proven architecture and the Indian automaker had also come up with the Impact 2.0 design language, and both these aspects laid the perfect base for the Tata Safari. While the new platform and the design language gave the Safari completely different looks, the original character and the authenticity somehow managed to retain themselves. And that completely eliminated the threat of the icon being outdated or outclassed within a few years of its resurrection.
“We had the perfect base for the next generation of Safari. When you bring back a legend, there is a lot of responsibility and excitement around the project. We hope that the Safari that we are launching very soon gets everything right and brings everything that the original legend stood for but takes it to the next 20-25 years,” said Bose.

Tata Safari (Gravitas then) unveiled at the Auto Expo 2020

Drawing the line between Harrier and Safari
The Tata Harrier and the upcoming 2021 Tata Safari belong to a different class altogether yet they are starting off at almost the same point. Sharing the same OMEGARC platform, the SUVs also get the same wheelbase and axle track. But the automaker has drawn a clear line between these two SUVs to make them appear distinctive in their own way.

Compared to the Harrier, the 2021 Safari boasts a lot of new designing elements so that the iconic remains honest in terms of its styling and designing like it always was. The 2021 Tata Safari comes with a third row, offers 18-inch wheels, a signature stepped roof, imposing front and rear profile, and is also taller and longer than its sibling. The additions that help the SUV retain the authentic Safari character are the silhouette and the third window. Compared to the Harrier, the 2021 Safari is also expected to offer a much better sense of spaciousness and that might become the icon’s USP in the market.
The Tata Safari and the Tata Harrier are similar in a few ways but the minor details pile up and make the SUVs stand miles apart. Both the models have tremendous scope in the market and will continue to come with significant changes to gain a stronghold in the Indian market. The bottom line is that the Tata Harrier will continue to be the sporty and edgy SUV while the Safari is a much dignified and elegant offering, claims Bose.

Mere 3rd-row extension model or an authentic SUV?
The Indian auto market is flooded with the 3rd-row extension models and the models seem to be doing quite well too. However, the thin line between 6- and 7-seater SUVs and MPVs seems to have faded but the re-entry of the Tata Safari may change things as the Indian audience will see the true definition of a 6- and 7-seater SUV. The Tata Safari will stand out from the crowd because of its true-SUV elements like the pushed back A-pillar, the architecture, and the proportions and most importantly, the 3rd row will not be offered as mere emergency seats and will be meant to offer optimum comfort to any and every occupant.
“The architecture of the Tata Safari comes from the lineage of SUVs. Some carmakers will deal with the 3rd row as an emergency or child seat but the Tata Safari will offer a similar comfort level in all the 7 seats,” said Bose.

The 2021 Tata Safari is expected to add that hint of elegance and boldness to the automaker’s SUV portfolio that was not necessarily missing but when an icon of such magnitude is brought back to the market, things are definitely expected to get fiery. The Tata Safari upon its launch will take on the likes of MG Hector Plus, the upcoming Mahindra XUV500, and the upcoming 7-seater version of Hyundai Creta. The SUV is expected to start somewhere around Rs 15 lakh (ex-showroom) and go up to Rs 22 lakh (ex-showroom).


Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Auto

How the Range Rover became the king of luxury SUVs

Published

on

By

Sport utility vehicles are all but taking over the automotive market in the United States and the luxury segments are no exception. The Range Rover — which celebrated its 50-year anniversary in 2020 — is one of the originals. It continues to be a strong seller that commands a lot of respect.

But its ranks of competitors are growing.

It is fortunate for the Range Rover’s maker, Jaguar Land Rover. JLR has had its share of struggles throughout its history, including financial troubles, ownership changes, and recent difficulties adapting its Jaguar brand to a changing market.

But JLR’s Land Rover brand, specifically its Range Rover name, is in an ideal position.

That said, luxury brands from earlier eras that originated from sedans, wagons and sports cars are now churning out their own sport utility vehicles. Many of them lack the off-road capability and rugged bush-going heritage of Land Rover. The Range Rover and Range Rover Sport have a combined loyalty rate of more than 50%, according to J.D. Power data.

But there is more competition than ever.

While Range Rovers have a lot of heritage to lean on, it is always possible that consumers may become fatigued with the brand, or that something flashier comes around, said Tyson Jominy, J.D. Power’s vice president of data and analytics.

“But I’ve got to be honest, it’s really not materializing with the way consumers are behaving,” Jominy said.


Source link

Continue Reading

Auto

Budget 2021: CropLife India demands GST rate cut on agrochemicals, focus on R&D

Published

on

By

(Representative image)

NEW DELHI: Industry body CropLife India on Thursday demanded that the government reduce GST rate on agrochemicals to 12 per cent in the forthcoming Union Budget.
In a statement, the industry body said slashing the rate of goods and services tax (GST) will help lower the prices of agrochemicals and benefit farmers.
The current GST rate on agrochemicals is 18 per cent.
“The government should also simplify requirements under GST by allowing companies to adjust input credit of one state against the tax payable situation in another state as GST is a central levy,” CropLife India CEO Asitava Sen said.
Besides, the industry body urged the government to focus on research and development(R&D) by providing 200 per cent weighted deduction on R&D expenses by agrochemical companies, which would benefit the farmers across the nation.
“The government may consider providing this to those units who have minimum fixed assets of Rs 50 crore and incurring expenses of Rs 10 crore,” Sen said.
The industry also demanded that the government maintain an uniform basic customs duty of 10 per cent on both technical raw material and finished products.
CropLife India is an association of research and development-driven member companies in crop protection.
The Union Budget will be presented by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1. The Budget session of Parliament will start on January 29.

FacebookTwitterLinkedinEMail


Source link

Continue Reading

Auto

French automaker Citroen to bank on SUVs to become a major player in India

Published

on

By

New Delhi: French automaker Citroen, which is set to enter the Indian market later this year, is banking on heavily localised vehicles and growing consumer preference for sports utility vehicles to emerge as a major player in the country over the next few years.

Roland Bouchara, senior vice-president (sales and marketing) at Citroen India, while conceding that India is a “tough market” said it also presented a huge opportunity to Citroen over the next few years to evolve into a major player. “Passenger vehicle sales in India are expected to grow to 5 million units per annum over the next few years. Secondly, the share of SUVs in overall PV sales has been rising. With this kind of segmentation and given our portfolio, we are confident we can emerge as a major player here,” said Bouchara.

The share of SUVs in India’s passenger vehicle sales increased to 29% last year from 25.6% in 2019. While overall passenger vehicle sales fell 18% in 2020 amid the disruption caused by the pandemic, the SUV segment performed much better with only a 6% drop.

Citroen, part of Groupe PSA, will enter the Indian market with the launch of premium SUV Citroen C5 Aircross shortly. This would be followed by vehicles on a new platform (CMP), which has been designed and developed keeping in mind the needs of Indian consumers. The vehicles will be made using more than 90% of locally sourced components and material.

“We have also localised the gearbox and the powertrain even before launching our first vehicle, which no other manufacturer operating here has done. We have made small changes in our strategy based on our learnings from the market,” Bouchara said.

Citroen declined to share the timeline for the launch of the first vehicle on the new platform, but said it will introduce a new vehicle every year in the country to shore up volumes, starting 2021. Groupe PSA is investing more than 100 million euros on the new platform. The C5 Aircross is based on a different platform.

Citroen expects India to emerge as one of the biggest growth drivers for the brand in the next five years.

The company has already appointed dealers for covering the top 10 Indian cities, Bouchara said. The distribution network will be expanded further ahead of the launch of mass segment vehicles. The C5 will be available with diesel engines, which will be assembled locally. Vehicles developed on the CMP platform under the C-Cube programme, however, will come strapped with only petrol engines.

“To begin with, we will focus on petrol engines for vehicles under the C-Cube programme,” said Saurabh Vatsa, senior director (marketing and PR Operations) at Citroen India.


Source link

Continue Reading

Breaking News

Shares