Tata Motors expects Bolt to boost sales in Gujarat

The country's largest vehicle manufacturer, Tata Motors, which today launched its sporty new hatchback, Bolt in Ahmedabad, said that the company is planning to launch two new products every year, and that some of these would be produced at its Gujarat facility at Sanand.

Speaking at the launch, senior vice president, program planning and project management for Passenger Vehicles Business Unit of Tata Motors, Girish Wagh said that "We have a product line up and these would be distributed amongst our passenger vehicle manufacturing plants amongst three locations to ensure equal capacity utilisation at the three plants." He added that there were plans for the Sanand facility as well. However, Wagh did not wish to specify any time-frame as to when a new product could come out from its Gujarat facility, adding that work was already on.

The company's Sanand facility manufactures the much talked about small car, Tata Nano, which has failed to see much traction in the market. The plant, which has an installed capacity of around 250,000 units per annum, now operates in a single shift.

As for the Bolt, it would be manufactured at the Pimpri plant in Pune, is the latest car from the company, under its Horizonext umbrella. Aggressively priced at Rs 4.55 lakh ex-showroom in Ahmedabad, the Bolt is expected to take on the Maruti Suzuki Swift and the Hyundai i10 and i20. While the car does not have any CNG offering at the moment, Wagh said that based on market feedback, CNG and automated manual transmission (AMT) versions could come up later.

The company has taken care to ramp up its network across the country, as well as hire new executives to sell this new car, which is built on the X1 Vista platform.

Amit Sagar, national sales head, north and west, passenger vehicle business unit, Tata Motors said that while there were no plans to phase out the Vista, there was a possibility that that some of its existing hatchbacks would get re-positioned, and also get phased out. "We are not in a hurry to discontinue any car at the moment," he said.

After a dull period for over two years, the company has off late seen some signs of recovery primarily based on its new launch, the Zest. Its December sales rose 30 per cent on a year on year basis. As Sagar pointed out, post the Zest launch, the company which was selling 700-800 cars per month in Gujarat has seen sales grow to 1,000 units per month in the state. As for the Bolt, he highlighted, that already 10,000 customers have taken test drives, and over 1600 have already booked the car pre-launch.