Hornbill launch to help Tata Motors achieve its passenger vehicle biz target


Kolkata: The launch of the micro-sports utility vehicle (SUV) codenamed Hornbill later this year will help Tata Motors achieve its target of grabbing 10% market share in the Indian passenger vehicle business, up from the current 6-7%, company officials told TOI on Monday.
Tata Motors has dethroned Mahindra & Mahindra to finish third on the podium among carmakers in India for eight months in a row this fiscal and is poised to end it with sales of two lakh units. In the April-January 2020-21, it sold 1.7 lakh cars in 2020-21 against 1.1 lakh in the year-ago period. Introduction of the Hornbill could see numbers jump significantly next fiscal to 2.5-3 lakh units.
“The company hopes to end the next financial year with a 10% market share in the passenger vehicles (PV) business,” Tata Motors PV business marketing head Vivek Srivatsa said.
The Indian auto industry experienced a contraction from 34 lakh units in FY 2019 to 28 lakh in FY 2020.
“The Hornbill will also trigger a major growth in the share of utility vehicles (UV) in the Tata Motors’ sales pie,” said Tata Motors’ PV business unit president and CEO Shailesh Chandra.
At present, UVs account for around 40% of Tata Motors’ PV sales. The re-introduction of the Safari brand in the six-seven-seater flagship SUV launched on Monday will push the UV numbers up. But it is the launch of the Hornbill expected mid-2021 that is expected to tilt the scale in favour of UVs. At present, M&M, Kia, MG and Toyota sell more UVs than cars with the first three offering only UVs in the portfolio.
Hyundai, too, has a micro-SUV lined up but Hornbill is expected to be the first to hit the road.
Tata Motors currently has six products in its PV portfolio: hatchbacks Tiago and Altroz, sedan Tigor and SUVs Nexon, Harrier and Safari, the last being the latest addition to the line-up and the most expensive passenger vehicle till date to sport the Tata badge with price tag of ₹14.69 lakh to ₹21.45 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi}.
The new Safari, an extension of the five-seater Harrier to add a third row seat, is the flagship model built on the Land Rover D8 platform that also underpins the Harrier. The Safari brand that was introduced over two decades ago in 1998 was discontinued last year due to modern emissions and safety regulations.
The company is set to build on the turnaround it has experienced in its business fortunes recently to carve the passenger vehicle business unit into a separate subsidiary. Tata Motors has called a meeting of creditors and equity shareholders on March 5 to consider and approve the proposal.
“This will make the PV subsidiary more agile and secure mutually beneficial strategic alliances that provide access to products, architectures, powertrains, new-age technologies and capital,” explained Srivatsa.


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