Tata, the largest cargo commercial vehicle manufacturers in the Indian market Launched its new range of Tata ACE XL models, according to sources. Although the most popular model in the SCV or Small Commercial Vehicle segment, Tata is losing its market share to Mahindra and Ashok Leyland models. Forcing Tata to upgrade existing models, refreshments will come across the ACE XL, ZIP XL and MEGA XL models.
Pricing ranges will depend on the series specifics. Starting from the 3 Lakh INR range with the XL model, the ZIP and MEGA XL models may fetch above 4.2 Lakh INR and 4.6 Lakh INR. Referring to industry sources, the most important upgrades will include better mileage, more power and payload capacity, new default and optional cabin features along with a larger load body.
Current Tata ACE XL uses a 0.8 L engine producing 16 HP and 39 Nm torque. Payload capacity comes in at 1000 kg along with a load body of more than 8.2 feet. Gradability comes in at 21%.
As per industry sources, upgrades start from performance. A new engine setup might go under the hood leading to 15% more payload, especially with the BS-IV diesel options.
Power steering will come as default across all options. Interior spec setups will include an AC setup along with a heater. There are no official releases whether these add-ons will come as standard or optional.
“We want to retain and expand across the mini-truck segment. There’s stiffer competition than before. But we want to concentrate on giving the buyers what they wanted in the previous models.” – says a high-placed insider.
The Tata ACE ZIP XL rates as a nifty low-cost high mileage performer. Its 33.8 km/l figures draw few competitors, and its comparatively large loading dock still makes it a first-choice for many consumers.
Upcoming Tata ACE ZIP XL models will look to improve on the 600 kg payload while adhering to mileage specifics. It will also come with power steering as a default option for adding more value to the same price tag.
The Tata Ace MEGA XL comes with more power from a 0.8 L DICOR TCIC BS-IV engine. Concentrating on more power, this mini-truck has one of the highest gradability figures of mini-truck at 30%.
Improvements to this Tata Ace MEGA XL will include a better payload to compete with Ashok Leyland Dost’s benchmark of 1250 Kg. “Tata will need to outdo the competition from every respect. Right now, Dost’s payload is an excellent benchmark although it’s a lot pricier. Thing is, buyers are willing to pay 1 lakh more to be able to carry 250 kg more in every single trip.” – says an industry insider.
Tata was to bring in these BS-IV models later this year. But industry sources claim that they’re forcing the issue simply because of increasing competition in the SCV segment. The Tata ACE XL series faces direct competition from Mahindra Jeeto and Supro series as well as Ashok Leyland’s Dost series.
With a market share of 62% in 2014, share percentiles are falling by more than 4% a year for Tata. The decision to pre-launch these models is only obvious to avoid losing ground in these upcoming quarters.
“The GST on commercial vehicles gives manufacturers and this industry a much-necessary boost after the BS-III to BS-IV conversion ultimatums. It’s an open-secret that whoever gains from these upcoming months will have a huge momentum going into next year.” – a market expert opines.
For buyers, however, these Tata ACE XL models with new features will add more options to the segment. BS-IV compliances mean that these models will hit showrooms as the only available products to buy. Competition is high against the likes of Ashok Leyland, Mahindra, and even Eicher. The next few quarters will definitely be a no-quarter zone in this SCV segment.