Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Dec 18, 2002

Port Info

Group Sites

Home Page - Cars
Corporate - New Products & Services

Tatas line up premium Safari launch

Sudha Menon

Dr Sumantran

PUNE, Dec. 17

THE Indigo may be the flavour of the season for Tata Engineering, but the company is suddenly on a roll and is all set to launch a string of models which, as its Executive Director, Dr V. Sumantran, says, will make it a world-class designer, developer and producer of cars. Take a look at what is in the offing in the New Year for car lovers.

Top sources told Business Line that probably the first to take off from the starting line is a premium, limited edition of its SUV, the Safari in January 2003. The all-new Safari is being designed to give the competition a run for its money and will have, among other things, features like DVD player, Sony Playstation for gaming enthusiasts, refrigerator and camera below the rear number plates to ensure extra safety during reversing. The car would come with special colours and pure leather upholstery and would likely cost upwards of Rs 10 lakh, sources said.

The stylised Safari limited edition would be followed by a petrol version of the vehicle, for which a completely new engine had been developed by the company, sources said. The petrol Safari is being test-driven right now and is likely to be launched by February 2003.The Safari is currently available only in diesel version.

The company is also simultaneously working on improving sales of its first-born, the Indica, which will soon have a new 62 bhp, 1,400 cc turbo-charged, diesel engine, which will be Euro II-compliant. "The idea is to cater to diesel car lovers who want more power in the car, deliver better fuel economy and protect their engine and give it longer life,'' sources said. The turbo-diesel is likely to cost Rs 30,000 more than its naturally aspirated diesel engine counterpart.

Next to get off the mark is the Indica Sport, a limited edition, highly stylised sporty looking car which will have a more powerful engine and cater to the urban, make-a-statement car buyer. The Indica Sport is likely to have a more powerful version of the Indigo engine.

Meanwhile, the company is also completely restructuring its export strategy. Though details were not being divulged, Dr Sumantran said the export scenario at the moment included the export of approximately 600 units of the CNG-powered Indica Taxi to Bangladesh. The first shipment of the cheerfully painted yellow Indicabs have already left for Bangladesh and Dr Sumantran said discussions were currently on with Iran for a large shipment of the Indica. The company was also simultaneously working at evolving products on alternate fuel platforms and was currently in the final stages of testing an LPG-powered Indica, he added.

Send this article to Friends by E-Mail
Comment on this article to

Stories in this Section
SBI, BoI going in for US GAAP

India takes up Polaris arrests with Indonesia
SC refuses to stay WLL services — Asks tribunal to review its decision
Both parties claim victory
Tatas line up premium Safari launch
Panic buys as gold begins to glitter
US stock market recovery in anti-bubble phase, say physicists

The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | Home |

Copyright 2002, The Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu Business Line