In what can be termed a visible shift in consumer preference for vehicles in the rural segment, Tata Motors’ top-selling models are Nexon and Punch in the hinterland, with 72 per cent of consumers being first-time buyers.

“There is a traditional notion that lower-level cars sell more in rural markets. This is certainly not the case for us. We have similar distribution among urban and rural market areas,” said Rajan Amba, Vice President, Marketing and Customer Service, Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles Ltd.

The company has seen 70 per cent growth (year-to-date) in the rural areas, driven by the Western region. “The rural markets are mimicking the national behavior, putting to rest the notion that rural markets are necessarily more for lower/entry-level products and so on,” said Amba.

Growing demand

Leading the electric vehicles’ market share in the country, Tata Motors is also witnessing demand from the rural areas. “The growth of EVs is strong in rural but less than ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles.... factors that will make EVs successful include charging stations in the rural markets,” said Amba.

Over the last few years, aspirations of customers in rural markets have caught up with those in the urban and it has become a level playing field, he added.