2016 marks three decades of the AutoExpo. The first expo was held in 1986, with the then Prime Minister Shri. Rajiv Gandhi kicking things off. Over the years, the expo has been a cornerstone for Indian motoring. From a constant slurry of launches, to showcasing the latest of technologies - the Auto Expo held in India has seen it all!
Tata Motors have their own little tryst with the Auto Expo. The Indian giant hasn’t shied away from flexing it’s technological muscles and has constantly chosen the biggest Indian motoring event as the platform for their newest products to break cover for the first time.
Part I - From Indica to Zica
The Tata Indica, debuted at the 1998 auto expo. Over the years, the humble Indica has been a testament to the fact that India, in fact can produce a decent four-wheeled runabout - on its own. Over the 17 years of its existence, the Indica has braced several roles. From being the first car a family owned to spawning a new segment with the Indigo CS - it truly has done it all.
Fast forward to 2016; the little Tata Zica stands at the very same threshold. It too needs to deliver what a billion people want. It too needs to be someone’s first car. Like the Indica, it too will spawn a compact sedan. The similarities are far too many to pass off as an unruly coincidence. The Zica then, really needs to click with the masses - just like the Indica did.
The brand no longer holds the Indica’s little finger to get by. The Zica debuts an all-new design theme for Tata Motors. Called ‘Impact’ it is as clean as a hatchback design Tata has ever sketched. The motors too are developed ground up; the 1.2 litre petrol and the 1.05 litre diesel aren’t ground-breaking in any way, but good enough for the average Indian. This again takes me back to 1998. The Indica too had motors that were nothing to write home about. The sales figures seem to disagree though.
The Zica needs to sell. For two main reasons, in my books. Tata’s effort that has gone into R&D truly reflects with the Zica. Developing a car from scratch in 3 years is no joke. Second: theoretically, the baton has now been passed on to it. More than anything, it needs to now justify the ‘More Car, Per Car’ image the good ol’ Indica made.
Part II - The Safari and the Hexa
Alongside the humble Indica, stood a rather large car. This large car went on to achieve a status so cult, that most brands won’t be able to come close - even if they tried twice as hard. Over the years, the Safari has remained the docile elephant for the slightly affluent Indian family. It ticked the right boxes back then, it ticks the right boxes right now.
What has changed, however, is how the market perceives Tata Motors. The current 15 odd lakh rupee price tag seems uncalled for looking at the Safari’s spec sheet. Enter Tata Hexa. The Hexa is the Aria’s second shot at the market. However, it reminds me of the ye old Safari. That is because the Hexa needs to replicate what the original Safari did. Prove to the masses that a big Tata is worth the money. While it does that, it also needs to drive home the fact that Tata cars can be premium if they want to.
A look at the Hexa’s feature-list, and you do realize that Tata is truly pulling out all the stops to make the Hexa seem value - for - money. Expect a lot of goodies, right from a touchscreen infotainment system to a terrain management system. Just like the Safari then, the Hexa needs to carve out a little niche for itself.
The two cars in question are instrumental for Tata Motors. Decent attempts in the form of the Bolt and the Zest were promptly shot down by the masses. Will these two finally break Tata’s jinx for sales? Time will tell.
Have a look at the most powerful cars to be showcased at Auto Expo 2016!
Source : CarDekho