Home-grown automobile manufacturer Tata Motors has zoomed ahead on the midsize SUV’s leaderboard beating SIAC-owned MG Motors in the first half of the calendar year of 2021.
According to the data sourced from the industry, Tata Motors sold a total of 20,505 units of Harrier and Safari together, about 2,740 units more than that of MG Hector and Hector Plus, which recorded 17,765 units sales in H1CY21.
Interestingly, both the carmakers brought their seven-seater versions on the existing selling models in early 2021. Being the first mover, MG launched Hector Plus in January 2021, and Tata Motors responded a month later with the launch of Safari.
According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), these SUVs are classified as those whose length is between 4400 - 4700 mm & price less than INR 20 lakh. The segment comprises SUVs like M&M XUV500, Bolero Plus, Scorpio, Hyundai Alcazar, Maruti Suzuki XL6, and Tata Sumo.
With the rise of SUVs, car manufacturers in India are rushing to add a third row to an existing five-seater model to enhance offerings and variants. However, this strategy of increasing the product line-up is yet to yield results for some. But it is most likely working for the few.
Tata Motors said that Safari commands over 25.2% market share in its category. Furthermore, with its stablemate Safari and Harrier, Tata Motors currently controls 41.2% in the SUV segment in Q1FY22.
The company also said that despite restrictions due to the second wave, it managed to roll out 10,000 units of Safari in less than five months.
Shailesh Chandra, President – Passenger Vehicles Business Unit, Tata Motors, said, “This iconic brand is already leading the segment, and we are delighted with our customers’ response.
We will continue to keep our New Forever range refreshed, catering to the ever-evolving needs of our customers.”
Industry experts believe that Safari as a brand name has very strong recall value and the changing market dynamics for Tata Motors. As a result, it is helping to attain good numbers.
Ravi G Bhatia, President and Director of JATO Dynamics, told Mobility Outlook that Safari is an established brand in the Indian car market. Tata Motors has also worked on its marketing to improve the brand image and experience. So it’s a combination of many things that favour Tata Motors, such as good brand image and perception of the safety-conscious brand, good design, improved built quality, good combination of price range and features.
According to JATO Dynamics, Tata Motors offers about 11 variants of Safari compared to seven variants of MG Hector Plus and six variants of Hyundai Alcazar. It is also interesting to note that Safari is the only SUV spread evenly in the price band of INR 15 lakh to INR 22 lakh compared to the competition.
Going forward, it would be interesting to see how the segment pans out as Hyundai’s recently launched Alcazar is gaining good traction as it sold 4,463 units in less than 12 days of the launch. Also, it is expected that other brands like Jeep are also working to bring the seven-seater of Compass.