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Tata Motors nixes D-segment plans

In 2009, at the Geneva Motor Show, Tata Motors had showcased a D-segment concept called the Prima. Designed by Italian design house Pininfarina, the concept indicated Tata Motors was planning to go upscale from its economical offerings.

Now, Tata Motors has decided not to enter this segment. This was revealed by Chairman, Ratan Tata, in the morning of the first day of the 2012 Auto Expo.

"This is a very busy segment. The cars here are either CBUs or CKD/SKD kits that are assembled. We will find it difficult to compete in terms of scale and refinement," he said. Cars that dominate this segment in India include the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Skoda Laura and the Chevrolet Cruze.

If it had received a production go-ahead, the Prima could have possibly gone on sale this year. The manufacturer had attempted entering this segment in the 1990s, when it showcased the Magna concept. That, too, never got a go-ahead for production.

In its current line-up, the C-segment Manza is the most expensive sedan from Tata Motors. The firm has not been successful in its attempt to go up the luxury chain.

The Aria crossover, launched in October 2010 ,was packed with features but with prices starting at around Rs 13 lakh, was perceived to be, too, expensive. Owing to the tepid response it received, the price has been revised downwards.