Let’s start with the local sales data. In what’s turning out to be the proverbial annus horribilis for every other industry barring remote connectivity, Tata Motors appears to be slowly moving into top gear. India’s auto industry shrank by a fifth, but the maker of Tiago and Nexon has logged 15% growth already in FY-21. Nexon and Harrier are at the vanguard of the expansion in market size, and hatchbacks Tiago and Altroz are registering Tata’s presence in the segment that has been Maruti Suzuki’s mainstay.
No wonder, therefore, that the Tatas have delivered sales of over 20,000 units for three consecutive months, and is targeting a production of 25,000 units a month in Q4. And it is seeking assurance from vendors to make up to 40,000 units a month in FY-22, with a new Micro SUV Hornbill and top-of-the-line SUV Gravitas planned for the next financial year.
Tata Motors is currently sitting on an order book position of about 30,000 to 35,000 units, with traction for its hatchbacks Altroz and Tiago. The smaller sibling Tiago in fact saw a significant leg up in volumes due to the need for personal mobility.
Declining to give any specific numbers on booking numbers or production, Shailesh Chandra, President, PVBU, Tata Motors told ET that to cater to the rising demand, the company has been ramping up capacities, especially of petrol vehicles.
“We continue to follow a strong ‘Supply and Operations Planning’ cadence to align production to retail in order to avoid mismatches and keeping a lean inventory across the value chain. We do expect continued growth in our demand on the back of the current “New Forever” range along with the new products to be launched in the coming calendar year,” added Chandra.
In the eight months of this financial year, Tata Motors is estimated to have sold over 1.13 lakh passenger vehicles, registering a growth of over 15%.
According to people in the know, Tata Motors may close FY-21 with sales of 1.75 lakh units, meaning growth of over up to 25%.
But looking at the booking momentum for the brand, there is every possibility that sales may cross 2 lakh units in annual volumes, which means it would have registered a growth of 30-40%.
“The capacity planning is always done on the higher side; if the planning goes wrong, you can’t capitalize on the buying momentum and the top rivals Maruti and Hyundai can take full advantage of Tata Motors’ slack,” said a person close to the company.
To ensure preparedness to meet the demand, the company is continuously working on debottlenecking with its suppliers.
Tata Motors has already overtaken its arch rival Mahindra & Mahindra to grab the number three position and it has seen its market share jump by almost 300 basis points to 8% in FY-21 so far. The company has broken into double digit market share for both passenger cars and in the utility vehicle segments.