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Convergence at Tata Motors as truck turns passenger van

Tata Motors launches two passenger vehicles from its commercial vehicles, reports Suprotip Ghosh.

business Updated: Jun 19, 2007 03:09 IST
Suprotip Ghosh
Suprotip Ghosh
Hindustan Times

Tata Motors on Monday launched two passenger vehicles from its commercial vehicles division as part of a converging line of business between the commercial and passenger vehicle businesses.

As part of this, the company has launched a passenger variant of its 1-tonne mini-truck Ace. The Ace Magic is a converted, hard-top variant of the Ace that would have an option to seat up to seven people in addition to the driver. The carrier, which has a maximum capacity to carry 750 kg, is to be sold as a 'maxicab', a four-wheel equivalent of rival Mahindra's three-wheeled vans for passengers..

Apart from that, Tata Motors has also launched a new passenger vehicle line, named the Winger. This vehicle, claimed by Tata to be India's only mini-van, is Tata's take on Renault's yesteryear bestseller Traffic.

Both the Magic, priced around Rs. 2.60 lakh and the Winger, priced around Rs. 4.70 lakh, are being launched nation-wide, starting with Maharashtra and Gujarat, and will be extended to other parts of the country in due course, company officials said.

The two lines have carefully stepped around Tata Motors' passenger cars. The Winger, to seat 9 to 13 people, would not spill over into utility vehicle Sumo's market, said a Tata Motors official. The Sumo Victa and Spacio are the Tata's passenger car division's answer to the medium-sized city passenger carrier segment.

Magic is less of a car and more of a mini-van, aimed at the lower end of passenger carriers. "The vehicle will be sold as a last mile solution for the average Indian," said Niraj Srivastava, head of marketing for buses. Both vehicles are to be sold with a large amount of flexibility in design. A high-roof version with no seats can be used as an ambulance, or a delivery van, said Shyam Mani, vice-president, sales and marketing, commercial vehicle business unit (CVBU). The deluxe and luxury versions fully fitted with all bucket seats and roof-mounted airconditioning ducts can be used for a large family, he said.

First Published: Jun 19, 2007 02:58 IST