Tata to launch new generation vehicles in 2008

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New Delhi, Oct 4 (UNI) To check its declining sales and augment its ageing passenger vehicles, India's largest automobile manufacturer, Tata Motors has planned a slew of launches for next year including new Indica, Indigo, Safari and Sumo.

''We will be launching new generation products and the new Indica, Indigo and Sumo will have completely new exterior, interior, engine and platform,'' Tata Motors President (Passenger Cars) Rajiv Dube told reporters here today.

The company will launch these products along with Fiat's Grande Punto (GP) and Linea from a new plant at Ranjangaon near Pune which will be responsible for the manufacturing of the engine and transmission. The plant entails a 50:50 investment by both Tata and Fiat.

Tata will embark on its launch wagon with the Auto Expo in January when it will unveil its next-generation global pick-up truck, Xenon. The new Indica to be launched will be on the higher price band and the older Indica will continue to exist.

''Fiat may also choose to display more products in the expo, where it will gauge customers reaction to its products. However, it will be a mutual call on the products to be launched,'' Mr Dube added.

The auto major will also unveil a range of luxury buses in collaboration with Brazilian Marco Polo and also a new Winger, its luxury light commercial vehicle.

Tata today launched its new Tata Safari DICOR 2.2 VTT, a launch by the company after a gap of almost nine months. ''We will ensure that the new products in the pipeline will be in periodic intervals and will not have to wait for nine months to see a new product from Tata,'' Mr Dube said.

These products will form the largest range of launches by any Indian company in a single year and the company plans to re-enter the UK market where it previously sold its Indica through MG Rover.

Tata now plans to handle the launch entirely on its own this time around.

''Our product has been in the UK market and there is already an equity for the brand in the market. We previously sold Sierra in UK and we look at that market positively,'' said Mr Dubey.

He however, discounted the theory that pricing the car at 6,500-8,500 pounds was responsible for its failure to get a share of the market. ''It was only that Rover went bankrupt that the sales of Indica had to be discontinued.'' The forthcoming launches will demonstrate high-technology vehicles developed in-house by Tata Motors and the re-entering of the overseas market will also be to offset any slump in the domestic market.

India's top bus and truck maker, Tata Motors vehicle sales in September fell 1.26 per cent to 48,347 units from 48,963 units a year earlier.

UNI

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