Preparing PV Portfolio To Meet New Norms: Tata Motors

GENEVA: Tata Motors is undertaking a "clean up" of its passenger vehicles product portfolio as part of transition to meet new regulations and achieve profitable growth that could bring an end to the Nano.

The company is focusing on hatchback Tiago and upcoming compact sedan Tigor to act as bridge during its ongoing transition from the past to the future to drive volumes and improve bottomline of its passenger vehicles (PV) unit till it launches new products under new platforms by 2018.

"The old world is any way going to be changed, not because of Tata Motors but because of changes in regulatory environment. It may be emission requirements in 2020 or even earlier changes, as far as safety requirements (2017) are concerned," Tata MotorsManaging Director and CEO Guenter Butschek told PTI here at the Geneva Motor Show.

He was responding to a query on how Tata Motors saw the future of its entry level small car Nano, the dream project of Tata Group chairman emeritus Ratan Tata.

From October this year, India will adopt stringent norms for frontal and side crash tests that would require vehicles to be equipped with safety airbags. In 2020 the country will implement the BS-VI emission norms.

"Some products will actually get naturally to the end of their lifecycle. So there is already a clean up going on in this regard. We have launched intensive activities in order to get the cost down on all the products that are currently in operations," Butschek added.

When asked when will the company call time on the Nano, he declined a specific answer but said: "At one point of time, each and every car gets naturally to the end of its lifecycle.

"We have already well laid out PV strategy. We will make the calls on the execution of the bits and pieces of the strategy at the right time... Each and every decision has its time."

The company's focus during the transition is to have models Tiago and Tigor to drive volumes and profitable growth so that it is in a better position financially to invest on its future products.

"The key focus in on Tiago and Tigor because these are our volume products," he said, adding cost saving, engineering changes and improvement of productivity on these models could successfully boost bottomline during the transition.

"There is a period in-between, which we have to overcome, where even if turn individual products into a positive one, it is certainly not good enough in the first instance to acually get me my overall funding requirements into the future," Butschek said.

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Source: PTI