President, Passenger Vehicle Business Unit, Tata Motors, Mayank Pareek at the launch of Tata Tigor in Chennai on Wednesday. Photo: PTI
Tata Motors plans to expand its sales and service network from the current 700 centres to 1,500 by 2019, as part of an effort to achieve the third position in the market by then, said Mayank Pareek, president of its passenger vehicles business unit.
Last year, it was fifth out of 18 manufacturers in the car market. The plan is to expand the product portfolio and geographical reach.
"We are present in only 59 per cent of the market and are not there in many, such as compact SUVs, bigger SUVs and similar segments. Our product plan reflects this and in 2020, you will see that we have covered at least 95 per cent of the market. There will also be new market segments emerging and we are also looking at some of those," he said.
The company has the ambition of being a full-range car entity in India. In the past 12 months, it launched three models. The next one, of a compact SUV, would be during Diwali this year. On Wednesday, it launched the Tata Tigor, its new car model, in this city. The company is in the third position in Tamil Nadu.
On the geographical reach, it says it currently touches around 350 districts of the 720 in the country. It plans to expand here and is also looking at digital showrooms. It would launch the first one in Mumbai.
It will be focusing on the domestic market till it achieves the goal of becoming the third largest car manufacturer in India by 2019-20, it says — there are some exports to South Asian countries and to South Africa.
It has around 83,000 bookings for the Tiago and a little over 50,000 units of the model on road. One constraint in expanding the model's manufacturing is the challenge in quickly increasing the supply from vendors fast. Tigor sales could be better than the Tiago, said Pareek.
The company says it has had no major impact due to the ban on sale from April 1 of BS-III emission-compliant vehicles. When the order came, there were only around 1,000 vehicles in the unsold BS-III inventory across the country, which it finished selling quickly after the order.
The company grew 22 per cent last year, as against industry growth of nine per cent. This year, the industry is expected to grow at nine to 10 per cent and the company is expecting to do better, said Pareek.
"Typically, any car buyer in India evaluates three cars before he buys. One of our visions is that we expect every car buyer to at least consider ours," he added.