With ‘Tigor’, Tata Motors wanted to bring ‘style back’ in a ‘boring’ segment: Pratap Bose

By: | Updated: April 3, 2017 5:05 AM

Tata Motors’ new sub-4 metre sedan, the Tigor, is the third car that is designed on the company’s new ‘Impact’ design philosophy—the first two were the Tiago hatchback and the Hexa MUV.

Tata Motors, 4 metre sedan, Tigor, Hexa MUV, StyleBack, Zest, Geneva International Motor Show, Racemo pointsTata Motors’ new sub-4 metre sedan, the Tigor, is the third car that is designed on the company’s new ‘Impact’ design philosophy—the first two were the Tiago hatchback and the Hexa MUV. (Source: Reuters)

Tata Motors’ new sub-4 metre sedan, the Tigor, is the third car that is designed on the company’s new ‘Impact’ design philosophy—the first two were the Tiago hatchback and the Hexa MUV. The design job for the Tigor was led by the company’s Pune and Coventry, UK, design studios, by Pratap Bose and his team. (Tata Motors has a third design studio in Turin, Italy.) Bose, who graduated from the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, before completing his masters in automotive design at the Royal College of Art, London, has been the head of Design at Tata Motors since 2011. He shares with FE’s Vikram Chaudhary that while design attracts people to the showroom, a car will sell only if it drives well, is fuel-efficient, has ample safety features, and has an aspirational value. He also explains what is a ‘StyleBack’. Excerpts:

Tata is branding the Tigor as a ‘StyleBack’. What is the meaning of the term?
Most cars in this segment have a boring design—they’re missing the pizzazz, I’d say. We wanted to bring ‘style’ ‘back’ to the segment. Also, there wasn’t an ‘aspirational’ product in this segment. The Tigor, we believe, is one—it’s a car for the people who want to upgrade from a hatchback.

Where was the design job carried out?
The job was led by our Pune (India) and Coventry (the UK) design studios.

In India, does a car sell only because of its design?
No, while design attracts people to the showrooms, I believe that style without substance is superficial. For example, a car may look good, but a customer will shell out a few lakh rupees for it only if it drives well, is fuel-efficient, has ample safety features, has an aspirational value and so on.

Now that the Tigor has arrived, where does your other sub-4 metre sedan, the Zest, fit in?
The Zest will continue to be sold—it has developed a strong presence in the taxicab segment. The Tigor will be primarily for personal-use car buyers. We won’t sell it in the commercial segment.

Even if you get a huge order…
No, even then we won’t.

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Tata Motors showcased the Racemo at the 87th Geneva International Motor Show last month. When will it arrive in the Indian market?
The Racemo is a two-seater sports coupe developed by TAMO—Tata Motors’ new sub-brand. The Racemo is India’s first globally developed ‘phygital’ car, merging the physical and digital worlds. We want to put it in customer hands by the end of this year. We have been working on it for 22 months and the car displayed in Geneva was a production model.

In many ways, the Racemo points towards the design language the cars of the future will take…
The basic architecture of the passenger vehicle will change in the future, and that will get reflected in the shape. For example, the layout of the seats, the design of the dashboard, etc, could see design alterations.

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