Re: The Story of Tata's Epic Journey from Trucks to Aria
Homage to the Diminutive legend the "Chotta Hathi"
"Necessity is the mother of invention they say",
and rightly so.Who would have thought 8 years ago in India that we could get rid of those crappy 3 wheeled goods movers.But when Tata Ace was launched in 2005 it literally shook the market and changed the game like never before, it literally annihilated Piaggio Ape the leading small pick-up of our country.Lets go through its story now and pay our tribute to this legend.
In December 2000 Grish Wagh was given a brief by Ravi Kant to create a new very light truck line that would add to Tata's current truck range. It was to be economical and to take on the three wheeled cargo auto rickshaws in the Indian market. Based on this brief Wagh approached users of three wheel cargo rickshaws and got their feed back on Tata's future four wheel cargo vehicle. The feedback indicated the need for a economical vehicle that could take light loads over short distances. Additionally the feedback also revealed that future owners would prefer owning a four wheeler cargo vehicle for the perceived prestige it would offer over a three wheeled vehicle.
Launch and Reaction
Tata Motors launched the Ace truck in May 2005 for just above Rs 2 lacs, Rs 200,000 . The new vehicle was a big hit, selling 100,000 in just 20 months. As of Jan 2012 Tata Motors has sold over 700,000 Aces in just 7 Years. The Ace has created another historical event in the commercial vehicle industry. TATA Ace is produced in Pantnagar plant of Tata Motors. Variants of TATA Ace running on CNG fuel and with more environmental friendly engines have been launched. Riding on the success of TATA Ace, Tata Motors has developed TATA Super Ace and TATA Ace Zip. TATA Super Ace is a one ton payload carrier, while TATA Ace Zip is a micro truck with 0.5 ton carrying capacity.
Tata OK is the certified pre-owned commercial vehicles program of Tata Motors Limited and provides ultimate convenience to customers trying to buy a pre-owned commercial vehicle or sell their existing truck. Tata OK started the project in south India with 4 key dealers and it has now been rolled out across the 4 southern states and Maharashtra. At present Tata OK covers only Tata Ace.
TATA SUPER ACE
TATA SUPER ACE is powered by a four cylinder, 475 IDI turbo intercooled diesel engine producing 70 bhp, power steering that translates to a reasonably powerful small truck with a carrying capacity of one ton, and can attain a top speed of 125 kmph. The load area is larger at 8 feet 7 inches. Loading capacity is 1 Tonnes. The Tata Super Ace looks slightly different with a different grille. The company says that the Super Ace offers a lot more by way of driver comforts such as a lockable glovebox, provision for mobile charger, rear view mirrors on both sides and sun visor.
The Super Ace also offers power steering. There are also front bucket seats and some amount of adjustability to the seats. The Tata Super Ace comes with 12 months/50,000 kms warranty.
Tata Ace has created a new mini segment in India. Priced between 2.25 to 3.35 lakhs, the company aims to convert three wheeler users to 4 wheelers. One of the ideas that prompted the launch of this vehicle might be the government policy in India that bans HMVs (categorized as vehicles weighing above 3 tonnes) to enter cities after 7 p.m. to reduce traffic jams and pollution. TATA has found the gap in the market and released Ace. The 700 cc engine delivers a power of 16 hp (12 kW) at 3200 rpm and a torque of 3.8 m.kgm(37NM ) at 2000 rpm gives a tough competition to Piaggio's mini truck (3-wheeler). It has a permissible loading capacity of 750 kg (1650 lb). It also has a modern cabin compared to its three wheeler rivals. It is best suited for use by villagers in carrying goods over short distances. The project was headed and executed by Girish Wagh.
The mini truck is now produced at the facility in Pantnagar,Uttarakhand although it was initially manufactured at Pune. The Tata Ace succeeded in creating an entirely new segment that competitors are known to be working on different models to compete against the Tata Ace.
A new higher variant Ace II has also hit the roads.
In June 2007 Tata Motors launched the passenger variant of the Ace, named Magic featuring an all-steel cabin. It offers a flexible seating capacity of 4-7 passengers with adequate legroom. Powered by a 16 bhp (12 kW), 700 cc water-cooled diesel engine, the Magic offers high fuel efficiency and very low maintenance. The 12-inch tyres provide higher ground clearance, and the rigid front axle is designed to handle tough roads. The Magic's turning radius of 4.3 metres (14.1 ft) is nimble enough to navigate the bylanes and traffic of India's crowded cities. The Magic has a clearly visible instrument cluster, utility tray and a digital clock in the dashboard and also a provision for fitting a radio.
The Magic meets BS-III emission norms and has been developed for use in any market — be it urban, semi-urban or rural. It is backed by a 36,000 km/12-month warranty. The Magic range starts at Rs 2.60 lakh (ex-showroom, Pune). Tata Motors' two new vehicles, Magic and Winger, are expected to cater to the two ends of the taxi segment. The Winger, which is a sturdier and more refined product, will attempt to wrestle market share in the staff (ITES/ BPO employees) transportation segments, Hotel & Inter-urban Tourist segments, airport drop and pickup.
Both the Magic and the Winger are being launched nation-wide, starting with Maharashtra and Gujarat, after which availability will be extended to other parts of the country in a phased manner.
Source : Wikipedia.
Stay tuned as THE XOVER will bring more tributes of the other legends of Indian Auto industry, till then Watch Out.