What’s Wrong with Tata Motors? An Open Letter To the MD


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SHAKE UP STRATEGY
Dear Mr Slym,
Mr Tata once rued the fact that the Nano was not actually still a 1 lakh car
How about making the base version 1lakh only-on the road-for 1 month!-just to get things "moving"
How about a base Indica CR4 for 3.5 Lakh OTR for 1 month
How about a base Vista-with TDI/ ?CR4 for 4Lakh ORT for 1 month?
.......For variety keep each a different month
Surely you will loose some margin-BUT your customers will be back :-)
 
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Too many hopes we Indians tend to pin on 1 Personality

We think 1 Good politician or PM will change our entire country

We think 1 ANNA Hazare Ji will change the entire country

We think 1 Narendra Modi will be PM someday in the futire and he will chane India's Future

Come On Guys be realistic, Being an EX TML employee that too in the sales and mktg function, i dont think we should expect too much from Karl Slym

Ofcourse he will do his bit. He will TRY everything possible from his side to tweak some strategies at the top of TML , But do you really think he will stay on so lonf as change the complete picture of how horribly TML TASSes work across India. Will he be able to change the MINDSET of Indian consumers and again pull back them towards TML cars?

I really doubt how much of a difference this guy can do (Ofsourse no doubting on his capabilities as well as TML capabilities)

Even good people / or people anyway nowdays shift their jobs every 4-5 years, so I am sure even Karl Slym is taking up this assignment only as a Feather in his cap and he also knows that he cannot change teh destiny of a company in 2-3 years

The Biggest change in the AUTO landscape has happened in the last decade and we are witnessing Global Brands that bring the worlds best products to indian shores and TML has just not been able to put up a fight with all these European and Japanese auto giants

My Question is - Why should TML be hell bent to be in the Indian market as a MASS SELLER? Why cant it really change its strategy and try to play niche? They have the products as well - Safari STORME, JLR Cars, Electric NANOs (PIXEL), Indica VISTA 90 BHP variants, etc

Make the most of the Commercial vehicle space as you are already at teh TOP SPOT. For Gods sake dont lose that to Mahindras and Eichers atleast

And remain a Niche player in the Passenger car space

So eventually we should just expect some STRATEGIC DIRECTIONAL CHANGES from Karl Slym for TML and nothing ground breaking which will change the destiny of TML Overnight
 
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+100 to your views, but if you want to be a Niche player, then you should be niggle free from day one, otherwise you just end up premium-niggle player[:)]
 
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Too many hopes we Indians tend to pin on 1 Personality

Being an EX TML employee that too in the sales and mktg function, i dont think we should expect too much from Karl Slym

Even good people / or people anyway nowdays shift their jobs every 4-5 years, so I am sure even Karl Slym is taking up this assignment only as a Feather in his cap and he also knows that he cannot change teh destiny of a company in 2-3 years

The Biggest change in the AUTO landscape has happened in the last decade and we are witnessing Global Brands that bring the worlds best products to indian shores and TML has just not been able to put up a fight with all these European and Japanese auto giants
Its not about one person.

Having said that, would like to point out that there was always one person to trigger a change or start a movement. (Its our history - human history. Don't want to discuss that here as it would go way out of topic)

Karl Slym is addressed here as he is the man at the helm at Tata Motors right now and he took up this assignment recently. Otherwise its a general voice up to the top person there.

Sales and Marketing functions at Tata Motors are not functioning the way it should. But a person with the caliber of Mr. Slym can initiate and bring about drastic changes with strong support from TATA group head quarters. Engineering and Development is more like stagnant. It was supposed to be in the forefront of actions.

Some of the senior-middle level managers are living in a self created world of there own and refuse to act according to the changing times. Job security and the safe heaven atmosphere, (rather than spearheading innovation and developing maturity and understanding to nurture and guide and motivate) unfortunately led to a lethargic style of functioning.

A determined CEO can definitely bring about changes (at least in 2 to 3 years).

After reading some of the interviews recently, it seems they are moving in the right direction.
 
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My Question is - Why should TML be hell bent to be in the Indian market as a MASS SELLER? Why cant it really change its strategy and try to play niche? They have the products as well - Safari STORME, JLR Cars, Electric NANOs (PIXEL), Indica VISTA 90 BHP variants, etc

Make the most of the Commercial vehicle space as you are already at teh TOP SPOT. For Gods sake dont lose that to Mahindras and Eichers atleast

And remain a Niche player in the Passenger car space
Whats the big deal in being a niche product catering to few?

Tata has legendary approach towards "economy " or common people and that is biggest strong hold of Tata ,which has earned them due respect all over. Even myself respect them for same.

I dont find anything wrong in Tata being mass seller but for the bad luck or misjudgements they are not at it yet.

Some how they couldn't set right those nit picky niggles or take care of silly detailing..else Tata cars are at par for the course .

I believe 1000s of workers and 100s of third party vendors are counting on Tata and it cannot be that easy to straighten everything out in a jiffy.
from my personal experience Tata is slow but improving very well.
 
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Its not about one person.

Having said that, would like to point out that there was always one person to trigger a change or start a movement. (Its our history - human history. Don't want to discuss that here as it would go way out of topic)

Karl Slym is addressed here as he is the man at the helm at Tata Motors right now and he took up this assignment recently. Otherwise its a general voice up to the top person there.

Sales and Marketing functions at Tata Motors are not functioning the way it should. But a person with the caliber of Mr. Slym can initiate and bring about drastic changes with strong support from TATA group head quarters. Engineering and Development is more like stagnant. It was supposed to be in the forefront of actions.

Some of the senior-middle level managers are living in a self created world of there own and refuse to act according to the changing times. Job security and the safe heaven atmosphere, (rather than spearheading innovation and developing maturity and understanding to nurture and guide and motivate) unfortunately led to a lethargic style of functioning.

A determined CEO can definitely bring about changes (at least in 2 to 3 years).

After reading some of the interviews recently, it seems they are moving in the right direction.
Agree to most of your points and God bless TML and Mr Slym

Whats the big deal in being a niche product catering to few?

Tata has legendary approach towards "economy " or common people and that is biggest strong hold of Tata ,which has earned them due respect all over. Even myself respect them for same.

I dont find anything wrong in Tata being mass seller but for the bad luck or misjudgements they are not at it yet.

Some how they couldn't set right those nit picky niggles or take care of silly detailing..else Tata cars are at par for the course .

I believe 1000s of workers and 100s of third party vendors are counting on Tata and it cannot be that easy to straighten everything out in a jiffy.
from my personal experience Tata is slow but improving very well.
Of course jaydev, thats the point i am making, It is very difficult for TML to change suddenly and compete with the sudden flurry of global brands and changing automotive scenario in India

Thats why i am saying concentrate on Commercial vehicles which is braed and butter for them and they are NO1

Give out the best in class products and service there in CVs and really rethink their VISION for passenger cars

BTW,, dont be under the Impression that TML Commercial vehicles are top class and dont have Niggles,, this is far from true. So TML would also have to do a lot in CV space as well (which is their own territory)

Or else in a decade we would see M&M, Eicher, Scania, MAN etc also taking up this space from TML

Come On TML get rid of your Oldies and hire best in class guys across all your functions
 
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Agree to most of your points and God bless TML and Mr Slym



Of course jaydev, thats the point i am making, It is very difficult for TML to change suddenly and compete with the sudden flurry of global brands and changing automotive scenario in India

Thats why i am saying concentrate on Commercial vehicles which is braed and butter for them and they are NO1

Give out the best in class products and service there in CVs and really rethink their VISION for passenger cars

BTW,, dont be under the Impression that TML Commercial vehicles are top class and dont have Niggles,, this is far from true. So TML would also have to do a lot in CV space as well (which is their own territory)

Or else in a decade we would see M&M, Eicher, Scania, MAN etc also taking up this space from TML

Come On TML get rid of your Oldies and hire best in class guys across all your functions
+100 Anks, yes if somebody is of an impression that TML is number one in CVs would be a premature opinion, they does have lot of niggles in that area and Ashok Leyland and other are at a real competition with TML and they are even stronger than TML when it comes region wise. If you take our part of AP, you will see most of the lorrys, trucks and buses running are of Ashok Leyland[:)]. Tata needs to correct lot of things if they want to be on the top. They lack really a good design team and marketing strategy team today.
 
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If somebody is of an impression that TML is number one in CVs would be a premature opinion, .. Ashok Leyland and other are at a real competition with TML and they are even stronger than TML when it comes region wise.
Gurrala74,

TATA Motors is number one in commercial vehicles in India and it is number one by a large margin. There is no doubt about that.

Ashok Leyland is a distant second and they were in that position for several decades and continue to lag behind with huge gap.

Tata Motors is world's fourth largest Bus and Truck maker.
 
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Safari,

My meaning was different, its ok what I wanted to say is that competition is very active and if TATA is not alert enough then, things will change easily.[:)]
 
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+100 Anks, yes if somebody is of an impression that TML is number one in CVs would be a premature opinion, they does have lot of niggles in that area and Ashok Leyland and other are at a real competition with TML and they are even stronger than TML when it comes region wise. If you take our part of AP, you will see most of the lorrys, trucks and buses running are of Ashok Leyland[:)]. Tata needs to correct lot of things if they want to be on the top. They lack really a good design team and marketing strategy team today.
Technology wise even AL is lagging together with Tata. With the increasing number of newcomers like Mahindra the competition is certainly going tobe tougher day-by-day. Still IMO AL is best in south and Tatas uphere in central Indian and north. But speaking about numbers "T" certainly is right there on the top. Unlike in the Pssenger segment, Tata's are indeed very alert in their CV segment with the launch of ACE, Magic Iris which re-defined the LCV segment in India and with the introduction of Prima series they are well-equipped to face the competition.
 
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Excellent topic, Autosafari. You have hit the nail on the head. As a Tata’s customer, Your straightforward opinion about the brand is really appreciated.
Tata Motors has come a long way as far as their stint in passenger vehicles is concerned. The overall quality levels have improved to a significant extent as compared to what it was a decade ago.
Although I find it surprising that in spite of having best of the resources in hands, Tata isn’t utilizing them efficiently.
There was a lot of hoopla ahead of the Aria’s launch (including marketing) but it turned out to be a complete washout for the brand due to improper market positioning / impression. Storme’s launch was further a shock for me. Despite of being one of the important events...
Thank you Vibhor,

I too hope that they can change the working style of Passenger cars division with a determined CEO on board.


Excellent Case Study Sir,

Being a management graduate from premier b-school in India I went through many Case studies in college, Seminar etc.. But this Case study one of the very best and brilliant one I had ever went through. Really goanna publish this link in my College Website and suggest my junior to go through this.
Dear Yathi,

Welcome and thank you very much. Glad to know that this article would be of some use to students.
 
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Agree to all of your views Friends

We all have to agree though that being NO 1 does not neccasrily mean you have the best in class and niggle free products and hence they are bought by the consumers

so many times, i have seen that POSITIONING works in favor of TML very beautifully. To position even an Average product in the right space/ gap works wonderfully for them

But the competition out there will not let TML have a peaceful sleep even in commercial vehicles

M&M especially has become so aggressive in the last few years that we shud not be surprised to see them giving a good chase to TML even in commercial space

Cant think though how come the makers of TATA ESTATE & SIERRA is lagging behing in the utility vehicle space which they created originally

Come on TATA , you can still do it.Take some BOLD steps [:)]
 
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Mr. Slym,

Forget about other steps just show the ADs of newly launched Storme and new entry level Aria.Also launch Storme in other parts of nation quickly.:please:
 
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It was just today, that I got some free time and I read the entire post. I wanted to read this post from many days, but I have kept it aside (bookmarked in browser) to read at leisure.

Nicely written points, nice write up, crisp and hitting hammer perfectly on the nail. The points you have mentioned, I agree to all of them. I think the major issue with TATA dealers and TASS is the recruitment of the employees. When I bought my PUNTO, the SA and other people working in Balaji Motors (FIAT), were still studying in college, None of them knew proper English.

One incident while buying my PUNTO, where I asked about parts replacement if damaged, the SE said to me, TATA-FIAT provides all GENIUS parts, no need to worry. What he meant to say was GENUINE parts. [lol]. And the other SE used to make faces like, he was doing charity on us by giving us delivery or service for car. SO this attitude of them should be changed.

Where as when I went to Maruti dealers, everyone well dressed, will approach you as soon as you enter the showroom. will give their full attention to you. And really make you feel good.
 
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