Taking rival Ashok Leyland head-on on its turf, commercial vehicle (CV) major Tata Motors on Wednesday announced the national launch of its compact truck, Tata Intra. With two variants of 40 HP and 70 HP, Intra SCV has been priced at `5.35 lakh and `5.85 lakh. Tata Intra, new small commercial vehicle (SCV), was developed under a modular platform to compete with Dost of Ashok Leyland.
With south, particularly Tamil Nadu, being the largest market for SCVs, Tata Motors chose to launch Intra in Chennai with the pan-India roll-out over the new few weeks. The firm had launched Ace mini truck pan-India from Chennai way back in 2005. In FY19, the Ace variants have grown 60% and the SCV products have over 20 lakh customers, cumulatively.
With the launch of Intra in sub-1 tonne segment, Tata Motors is looking at phasing out the higher versions of its mini trucks — Ace Supra and Ace Mega — in due course of time to avoid cannabilisation and to enable Intra make inroads fast and drive growth, said Girish Wagh, president for commercial vehicles, Tata Motors.
At the launch, Girish Wagh said, “Being the market leader in the SCV segment with a share of over 40% in the 5 lakh units per annum segment, we seek to replicate the success of Ace with Intra.”
Though Intra now comes with BS IV emission norms, it can be made also available with BS VI norms, probably from April 1, 2020.
“We felt this is an ideal time to drive this product home as we have more than 10 months to go before BS VI become the norm of the day. We hope to increase our market share further in the SCV segment,” he added.
While refusing to talk on numbers, he however said Ace used to sell a minimum of 2,500 units a month and continued to do so, we want to replicate the Ace success in Intra.
“We see a huge opportunity in the last-mile connectivity and Intra has been positioned to fulfil the vacuum in this spot,” he said, adding the SCV market is growing in strong double digits, though we see an overall downturn in the CV industry.
According to him, globally, the ratio for heavy duty vehicle and SCVs is in the range of 1:4, but in India, it is 1:2 and hence the firm has a strong headroom to grow further in India.
He said: “We are looking at variants of Intra with alternate fuels. We are also looking at exporting Intra to our existing international markets, particularly Saarc region over a period of time with both LHD (left-hand drive) as well as RHD specifications. The markets, such as the US, Europe, Latin America, could also be the possible markets for us, he said. Last fiscal, the company had exported over 50,000 CVs, including SCVs, he added.
Managing director and CEO Guenter Butschek, who launched the SCV here, said, “South has been always our focus market. Intra was developed under a new/modular platform and it would help us in raising the bar in the SCV segment. It is an innovative product and the company looks at developing more products under this platform. Intra will be a game-changing product and will give us more market share.”
Wagh earlier said the industry was expected to grow in single digit though there both headwinds and tailwinds. The pre-buying, good monsoon, stable government and pick-up in freight activities in the second half of this fiscal will enable the industry to post this growth.
The manufacturing activities should grow fast to ensure that demand is picking up. The company is looking at launching new products/variants in the first half to spur the demand.
“While medium & heavy commercial vehicle segment is volatile, considering the current market scenario, we, however, see both ICV ( intermediate commercial vehicle) and SCV segments to do well despite odds,” he said.