Countering fake news is a challenge and with the rise of digital India, there has also been a constant increase in factually incorrect news that not just spreads rumours but creates an unhealthy environment for upcoming products and consumer expectations from them. Facebook posts, WhatsApp forwards and unverified news is becoming hard to battle and even tech giants like Google, Facebook and Twitter are constantly working to develop its algorithms to reduce the circulation of fake news but there has been a little success with it. Numerous people around the world find new ways daily to circulate fake news in a way that appears to be true.
Automakers too haven't been spared from the circulation of such news, right from Maruti Suzuki to Tata Motors. Many companies have faced rumours and some of these are lofty claims giving positive publicity to the company but giving a wrong perspective to potential consumers. On many occasions, companies have clarified the truth on public platforms and the most recent case involves the Tata EVision concept.
Some widespread social media posts claim that the Tata EVision electric car requires no fuel and can run for 1000 kms in a single charge and Tata Motors is also offering a 10 years batter warranty. Wait, there is more, 'Tata Motors EVision Sedan is priced at Rs 25 lakh (Ex-Showroom) and will be launched in September 2019 and will be a game changer.'
This is totally wrong information about the Tata's concept sedan and has been shared widely on WhatsApp and multiple social media platform with its pictures and videos. The only thing that we can testify as a truth is that if and when a car based on this concept model is launched, it could be a potential game-changer in the Indian automotive industry.
On the above information or rumour, Suresh Rangarajan, Head of Corporate Communications at Tata Motors, on a Linkedin post said "fake news that has been travelling far and wide - no such announcements made by the company. Someone’s imagination running wild."
Tata EVision concept electric car was showcased at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show and still remains a concept car with no official announcement about its production future. The EVision sedan is based on the Tata's new modular OMEGA platform and with this concept the company did make a bold statement that it is now ready to take on the EV race that has been the talk globally. Building such concept cars is also a learning for carmakers on what is feasible to make it to production and how to go about the product development and the amount of investment needed to start the production. Public feedback to is a critical data collection for carmakers through such concepts.
Over the last few years, we have seen Tata Motors being aggressive in rolling out new products and with just one exception of Tata RaceMo, we saw the Tata Tigor (Kite 5 concept) and the Nexon SUV being launched in the market rather quickly. So now based on this argument we can speculate that the future of Tata EVision sedan might be more than just a concept car and might see production in some form.
The other fact is only 9 of 20 cars showcased by Tata Motors at Geneva Motors Show have made it to production in the last 20 years. The idea of a concept car for a company is to showcase its future design philosophy and future technology being developed by the company. However, it is not possible for every concept car to see a production future. Clearly, no company wants its concept car to be associated with any sorts of fake news or spread wrong information about the product or the company. Concept cars serve the purpose of showcasing a company's direction in areas such as design, powertrain, aerodynamics and more and not specifically hint at production-worthy models.