It is the end of an era of sorts, Tata Motors has pulled the production plug on the Tata Indica and the Tata Indigo eCS. This will bring an end to both the brand names as the financial year 2018-10 draws to a close. The first indication came through when SIAM data reflected that not a single Indica or Indigo had come out of production in the new fiscal year. As sad as it may be, it marks the end of an era as IMPACT design cars take precedence for Tata Motors, with older models failing to meet production budget on account of slow-moving sales. During the recently concluded the financial year 2017-18, Tata Motors had manufactured 1,686 units of India and 556 units of its Indigo CS sedan. Gradually the company has now completely stopped the production of the said cars. Even Mahindra and Mahindra boss, Anand Mahindra express his sadness as the production to a halt, claiming that the Indica was a groundbreaking project and an inspiration for local innovators
I feel a tinge of sadness at the passing of the Indica. It was a ground-breaking project and an inspiration for local innovation... https://t.co/xT9Orc1IfY
— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) May 23, 2018
Tata Motors company spokesperson said, "With the changing market dynamics and the evolution of Tata Motors design language towards impactful design, we have decided to phase out the Indica and the Indigo eCS, a common phenomenon in a product lifecycle."
In many ways, Tata Indica has been an iconic car for Tata in India. Ever since it was first showcased at 1998 Geneva Motor Show the hatchback was an aspirational buy for people who were upgrading from small cars to hatchbacks. Tata Indica is also India's first fully indigenous car and ever since its launch has been the frontrunner in company's product line-up. Tata Indica became famous with some very interesting integrated marketing campaigns and was introduced with the tagline "More car per car," the ad campaign focused on roomy interiors and affordability. Tata Indica became popular right from the word go and received over 1.15 lakh bookings in just one week of the launch and became the segment leader in just two years. Tata Indica's success gave the company confidence to launch the all-new Indica in its second generation in 2008 and was named as Indica Vista.
Interestingly, the company had showcased an electric version of its Indica Vista sedan way back in 2011 but never made it to production.
"Establishing itself as a ‘coming of age car’ for India, the Indica has been a much loved and admired brand," the company's spokesperson further added. The Indica was followed by the Tata Indigo launch in 2002. The Indigo too was received well in the PV market and has been much appreciated for its compact design and spacious interiors.
To meet the upcoming emission and safety norms, Tata Motors is now streamlining its product strategy and not all existing cars may see a BS-VI future. Upgrading to BS-VI will require huge investments and it is expected that many of the slow-moving products will be discontinued from the Indian market. Tata Motors has showcased its new IMPACT 2.0 design language on its H5X SUV and 45X hatchback at the Auto Expo 2018. We expect the company to roll out a premium hatchback in India by 2020.
After Tata Indica and Tata Indigo, we expect Tata Nano to cease production soon. In the month of April, the company only manufactured 45 units of its Nano. However, we might see Tata Nano being revived in an electric avatar. Not just Tata Motors, we expect other companies including Mahindra to discontinue some of its products from its line-up.
While from a business point of view it is completely normal to see changes in product strategy, for many born in the Indica era the car has given many fond memories and has an emotional connection with the car. Tata Motors will continue to provide the required necessary service support to its existing Indica and Indigo customers.