They were billed as the comeback cars for Tata Motors in the passenger car segment but if one goes by sales figures, clearly Zest, a compact sedan, and Bolt, a hatchback, have failed to capture the consumers’ imagination.
It’s been almost a year since Zest was launched and more than six months of the launch of Bolt but the two notched up dismal numbers in July – Bolt sold a mere 433 units while Zest 1,458. Since Zest is supposed to compete with Maruti’s Dzire and Honda’s Amaze its performance is clearly less than satisfactory for Dzire sold 19,716 units during the month and Amaze 4,589 units. Even Bolt was far behind its competitors the likes of Maruti’s Swift and Hyundai’s i10, which sold 18,870 units and 8,691 units respectively. Even Volkswagen’s Polo, which is not a very popular car sold 2,583 units, much higher than Bolt.
During the April-July period of the current fiscal, Bolt sold 2,240 units in the domestic market, while Zest sold 7,177 units. During the same period, Dzire sold 71,652 vehicles and Amaze 17,984 units. In the hatchback segment, volumes of Swift, i10 and Polo stood at 71,822, 36,565, 11,024 units, far higher than Bolt. In fact, during the period, Nano, which was billed as “unsuccessful” did better than the two new launches with the addition of a new variant, Genx Nano as it sold 6,671 units.
For the month of July the good old Indica from the stable of Tata Motors’ emerged as the most sold vehicle for the company, notching up 3,118 units. For the April-July period also Indica showed a better performance with sales of 11,527 units, higher than those of Zest and Bolt.
According to analysts, what emerges is that while Indica has held on to its target audience – the taxi segment, the new launches, Zest and Bolt have failed to capture the imagination of the segment they were targeted at.
“The Genx Nano has emerged as a preferred city car and I am also pleased with the performance of the Indica”, said Mayank Pareek, President, passenger vehicle business unit, Tata Motors. Due to the lacklustre performance of the two new products – Zest and Bolt – their capacity utilisation ranges between 31-33% at present. “The manufacturers need to look at the changing customer preferences, cut throat competition before launching new products as the market has become very dynamic. Focus should be on creating value proposition,” said, Abdul Majeed, Price Water house Coopers.
According to Puneet Gupta, associate director, IHS automotive Tata Motors needs to change the price and positioning of the products and should increase its focus on those cities where consumers still have inclination to own Tata brand products.