Tata Motors ups ante with exclusive bus zone
Southern States may house more bus zones of the company in the nearterm due to favourable demand outlook.Tata Motors has outlined a slew of initiatives in the bus segment as the country’s largest bus maker is seeking to grow its share in the light segment and regain the top position it lost to Ashok Leyland in the medium and heavy segment.
The company, on Friday, opened its first dedicated bus dealership – Tata Bus Zone – in Chennai to take on Ashok Leyland in its bastion – southern market, as also to grow its market share in Tamil Nadu, described as one of the most progressive bus markets in the country.Presently, Tata’s CV dealers sell both trucks and buses.The idea of bus zone or dedicated dealer point for bus has been necessitated to meet the growing challenges and changing customer requirements in the segment.
“Actually, the bus segment is leading in technology in overall CV segment. We felt that there was a need to go beyond the traditional dealer model and hence decided to have a dedicated bus zone to serve the customers better,” said Ravi Pisharody, Executive Director – Commercial vehicle Business Unit, Tata Motors.With regulatory norms such as bus code and ABS coming in, the preference for fully-built buses is likely to be more and Tata expects a dedicated bus dealership will help addressing that in a better way.
Tata’s Bus Zone, which will be operated by Janata Group, has come up on the Sriperumbudur manufacturing corridor and will sell and service all categories of buses – from 8+1 seater to big buses.The company indicated that southern region would be a key focus area to set up such bus zones in the near term. Southern states are among the top nine bus markets in the country.Mr. Pisharody also said the company was in the verge of introducing a new modern front face for its buses.“We will initially introduce it in the light and intermediate categories and subsequently expand to medium and heavy buses,” he added.
The company has also rolled out a high horse power variant of 15-tonne bus with a promise of more power and better fuel efficiency for inter-city segment. It has introduced a new bus LP 1618 to strengthen its presence in the intra-city segment.“Over the next one year, we will introduce a slew of new buses across segments,” he added.Tata’s Motors’ market share in the bus segment (includes light, medium and heavy) was about 34 per cent during April-September 2015, down from about 36 per cent a year-ago, according to SIAM.