Did Tata Gravitas become Safari due to Covid-19? Inside Story of Tata Motors’ boardroom

Tata Safari making a sudden comeback has been good news as well as puzzling to many. What we knew as the Tata Gravitas for long suddenly became the Safari so in this story we tell you one of the reasons that in the board room meetings of Tata Motors made this change happen for Tata Motors' latest SUV.

By:Updated: Jan 27, 2021 6:43 PM


If one were to count the number of iconic vehicles made by Indian carmakers indigenously, the list will be quite small and the Tata Safari will undoubtedly sit at one of the top spots. The Safari enjoyed a premium status and was desired by millions ever since its launch and its popularity only grew for years as newer and better versions came out. However, the Safari brand has been missing from the Tata Motors stable for a while now so reviving it made great sense, right? That’s exactly what Tata Motors thought but in a surprisingly different way than many of us expected.

Tata Motors went ahead and rebadged the Gravitas that was unveiled at 2020 Auto Expo as the new Safari and whether it really reflects the character of the original Safari or not is an argument that I’ve written about earlier and will do more based on merit. For today, this article focuses on what might have brewed inside the board room meetings at Tata Motors leading to Gravitas becoming the Safari.

Also Read Is Tata Safari’s rebirth its end? Why THE Real Safari might not be back again

When the Safari was showcased yesterday, one of the primary communications through its promotional video and the words of the spokespersons were on how to #ReclaimYourLife. This phrase has been associated with the Tata Safari for years so it was expected to come back to life with the Safari but where does Covid-19 figure out in the scheme of things here?

After the world went through a challenging 2020 due to the Coronavirus everyone is looking to step out, explore and get as close to the older normal as possible without compromising safety. This is where personal mobility emerges as a clear winner due to the freedom it offers while ensuring better safety than public transport of any form. Hence, ReclaimYourLife comes across as a great marketing slogan to pitch to potential buyers at a time when the pandemic starts to recede in India and people look at reclaiming the lives that they had or led.

Quite possibly, as one of my journalist friends suggested some Tata Motors executives might have pitched this as one of the multiple reasons to bring back the Safari nameplate. Keep in mind that as long as there is no Safari, ReclaimYourLife has no meaning or impact. Now, let me be clear that this is a possibility that came to our mind but it isn’t something that Tata Motors has spoken about officially.

Out in the real world, two things that sell the most are fear and hope. Now we’ve all had more than enough of the former in 2020 so the latter is something people are desperately looking for. Hence, it’s quite possible that what we think could’ve been a discussion point in the board room meetings of Tata Motors did happen in reality. It makes great marketing sense after all – selling hope after the roughest known phase in decades.

I believe this might have been one of the few drivers for the marketing team to drive home the point about reviving the Safari nameplate. That said, do I believe that banking on an improving society sentiment after the Covid-19 and lockdowns is going to work out well for Tata Motors or not? Well, for that, I’ll be driving the new Tata Safari tomorrow so check out this space again on February 1 at 9 am and also check out our special Tata Safari video on our Express Drives YouTube channel on the same day and time. The new 2021 Tata Safari looks fantastic and feature-packed too but has large shoes to fill in. Hence, on both these platforms, I’ll tell you whether the new Tata Safari is really a successor to the last Safari or just a marketing hoorah.

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