We are among the top 3 but miles to go before we rest: Rajan Amba, Tata Motors

The Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Customer Care of Tata Motors spoke to exchange4media about the company’s festive marketing plans and growth projections

e4m by Kanchan Srivastava
Published: Sep 27, 2022 8:26 AM  | 5 min read
Tata

Despite the semiconductor shortage, homegrown car maker Tata Motors saw the steepest rise ever in FY22 when the Mumbai-based company closed the fiscal with a share of 12.15 per cent, compared to 8.26 per cent in FY21 and about 4 per cent in FY20.  

The growth was credited to the launch of new models like Nexon, Punch, Tiago and Altroz, and the company’s aggressive marketing strategy in the underserved regions.  

exchange4media spoke to Rajan Amba, Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Customer Care, on a range of topics around festive marketing and more.  

Excerpts: 

While inflation, and joblessness are affecting consumer sentiments to some extent, almost all car makers have seen bumper sales over the past few months. Tata Motors itself registered more than 50 per cent growth in passenger vehicle sales in August compared to July. How do you view this conflict? 

It is not so much of a conflict as the pandemic situation. The pandemic fuelled the need for private transportation as people were afraid of public transport. At the same time, there were a lot of savings as people spent less. Consumers made the decision to buy a car or upgrade their existing vehicle. As consumers’ priorities shifted towards safety, it elevated the whole situation around automobile buying.  

How much growth in car sales are you expecting in this festive season? 

The auspicious days of Durga Puja play a big role in car sales growth. We will have the data points only on October 10. As of now, I can just say that enquiries are very strong, bookings are also strong. A lot of new launches are there in the market fuelling people’s interest in car purchases. We are at the tipping point of the last stage when there will be a lot of pressure on our retail partners in the next few days when people will visit showrooms for bookings and delivery of vehicles during the 10 auspicious days of Navratri and Dussehra. The signs are very positive.  

Your latest campaign around Durga Puja seems to be quite powerful and conveys the message that generosity and kindness are at the core of our festivals. What is the whole idea behind this campaign on Durga Puja? 

The campaign has been launched in West Bengal. We launched a new campaign in Tamil Nadu as well two weeks ago because we realized many markets have a lot more potential but were undeserved as we had some challenges there in the past.  

We roped in actor Prosenjit as an evangelist for West Bengal and did a lot of work with him. As a result, we closed the year with a 14 per cent share from West Bengal alone in FY22, compared to 8 per cent in the previous year. We want to do something a notch above what we have been doing so far in Bengal, which has a rich culture of Durga Puja. The film leverages the sentiment of ‘doing good and being good’ and seamlessly integrates with the various features of our cars, which can also do good for the community. The film has been accepted extremely well in Bengal and even across India. We haven’t even translated the advertisement.  

The Tamil Nadu campaign was different. It was articulated and visualized through music and celebration of the roots and culture of Tamil Nadu and Tata Group in this country. The campaign showcases how we both are old, but progressive. Younger consumers in the state have new ideas and thoughts, but they stick to their culture. We are celebrating all of that through our campaign.  

Apart from Bengal and Tamil Nadu, which are the other markets you are focusing on? 

There are 12 close markets for us, but I can't disclose them here. We realized the richness of culture and variety in different states and decided to speak to people in their language. The TN campaign validates our thoughts. This won’t be just one campaign thing. We would continue to work hard and find insights that relate to consumers in those regions. 

How much AdEx are you planning to spend this festive season compared to the last two years? 

Our sales grew about 60 per cent this year, so the company will continue to build on that without cutting down on AdEx. We have achieved the number 3 slot in the country, occasionally number 2 as well. It is quite encouraging for the company which was at 5 or 6 a couple of years back. Yet, there are miles to go before we can rest. 

How is your EV segment growing in India? What are your targets? 

The EV segment is growing at 8 per cent and we are eyeing 20 per cent by the next few years. The EV vehicle’s share in our total sales was about 4 per cent in FY22. This fiscal, we have already crossed last year’s number. The growth so far has been 100 per cent. 

After the death of Cyrus Mistry, former chairman of Tata group, consumers and the government's focus has again shifted to safety. Are you planning to make any changes in the design that offers better safety? 

Tata Motors has been a pioneer in the safety aspect. Our cars have been rated as the highest on safety parameters in various surveys. Consumers also acknowledge that. So, we are already very much there. Meanwhile, the government also took many initiatives to educate consumers about safety in the vehicle. We were the first to adopt government directives. We will continue to do the same as safety is our mantra. We look forward to new initiatives that might come down from the government on this. 

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