Tata Motors has launched Sumo Victa- a facelift version of its best selling multi-utility vehicle, Tata Sumo. Launched first in 1994, Tata Motors claimed to have produced 2,70,000 Sumos. Last Fiscal, The Tata Sumo was amongst the top selling models in a 55-plus model industry.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr V Sumantaran, Executive Director, ERC and Passenger Car Business (PCBU), said, “Despite the entry of new competition in the last four years, sales of Tata Sumo have grown from 25,000 vehicles in 1999-2000 to 28,000 vehicles in 2003-04. Last fiscal it grew by 28% and is growing by 14% this year. We are confident that the launch of Sumo Victa, the brand will enhance its appeal in the personal-use segment.”
A tall claim which has yet to fulfill the challenge of being the most preferred passenger car in the minds of Indian consumers who have a high-decibel fancy for foreign cars at the same price. Tata Sumo has a high visibility on the Indian highways as a taxi because of its strong features and reliability for the cumbersome Indian roads. “I feel that all vehicles have gone through this change and be a part of the cab-segment. You should be aware on how you position the brand and how the brand evolves over a period of time. We build a brand on the appeal of the particular segment,” said Rajiv Dube, Vice President, Commercial Passenger Car Business Segment, Tata Motors.
When asked that what was the reaction of Tata Motors to the Rs 40, 000 price-cut of upgraded Esteem by Maruti, Sumantaran replied that this decision would definitely make the C-segment more competitive. “Tata as a brand has stood for leadership. As it is, we have Indigo in the C segment, and we will do what it takes to make it a stronger brand. Our products are dependable and provide value for money. Our value comprises of the best ratio of quality to price.”
Tata is bound to cash in on its strong brand image but it still remains a Herculean task to change the present private-taxi image to of industry. The price is at par with the Tavera, MUV, from Chevrolet, which is priced at Rs 5.44 lac (ex-showroom price), again a foreign brand.
The Sumo Victa comes with changes to its steering mechanism enabling it to have the smallest turning circle radius of 4.9 metres. Maneuvering and parking have been made extremely comfortable. Available in three different levels, seven new colours and powered by a Bharat Stage II compliant, 90 PS turbo charged intercooled, or a 68 PS naturally aspirated diesel engine, the Sumo Victa is priced in the range of Rs 4.88-5.87 lac (ex-showroom prices in Delhi).