Sophisticated truck range Prima's inability to crack the market has forced Tata Motors to change tactics.
Tata Motor’s Prima at the New Delhi Auto Expo
It has introduced a 'slightly decontented version' of the premium Prima range, positioning this new range in the middle of its conventional model and the original Prima series.
Tata Motors launched its Prima range of trucks in 2010, loaded with advanced features such as air-conditioned driver cabins and high horse power engines.
However, despite three years of sustained marketing initiatives Prima sold just 3000 units, as its high price and features - which are advanced for Indian conditions - dampened truck operators' interest in this modern truck series.
In fact, the original Prima series is up to 30% pricier than the standard models.
"The Prima is a fairly advanced and a futuristic truck, which offers some of the best features and comfort and performance compared to any other truck in the advanced markets and pricing wise positioned quite high in terms of our conventional product range," said C Ramakrishnan, chief finance officer, Tata Motors.
"The gap being large, we thought we should also have a position somewhere in between," he added.
"We will have a three product positioning strategy. Our conventional model, Prima at the top end and as you called it, the decontented version of the Prima somewhere in the middle," Ramakrishnan said.
In the toned down version of Prima series, the company removed some high end features in the driver cabin and kept the price just 8-10% higher than the standard range.
Tata Motors is hopeful that this 'middle of the road version' will take the sales of its Prima range to at least 500 units in a month.