After the volumes success of the Tata Tiago and Tata Nexon, the Indian carmaker is now eyeing an even larger volumes play - the entry hatchback. This is a segment that sits below the Tiago. It can be argued that Tata has had a presence there with the Indica and Nano. But there has never been a true entry hatch from Tata Motors.
The Altroz will be launched by Tata Motors by mid-2019
Guenter Butschek, CEO, Tata Motors agrees that the space holds potential. "There is still some market volume (in the segment) below the Tiago and Tigor, where we don't have a dominant play today - but where we would like to have a play" he says. Tata has already declared an intention to move to just two platforms for all its products - Alfa and Omega. While the latter will provide a base for larger models, the Alfa can operate in a wide range and therefore can spawn cars from about 3.6 metres to about 4 metres. The largest will likely be the Altroz premium hatchback that was recently unveiled in Geneva.
Also Read: Tata Motors Reveals Altroz Premium Hatchback
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The real need for significant volumes though comes not only from Tata's search for regaining market share, but another big move Tata anticipates - the drive towards EVs or electric vehicles. Butschek says the segment is "Where we in particular see great opportunities for us as far as electrification and the concept of urban mobility is concerned."
The Altroz will be made in Pune and subsequently could be moved to Ranjangaon
Tata has already devised a plan to keep the production of its smaller upcoming Alfa-based cars at its Sanand unit in Gujarat. Butschek has told carandbike, "Sanand is designed to actually produce vehicles up to four metres roughly. And to actually bring - with a high degree of commonality on the architecture - additional models into Sanand. It's going to give me more than enough utilisation of the capacity." The larger Alfa cars like the Altroz will be made in Pune and subsequently could be moved to Ranjangaon when the current generation Nexon also moves to Alfa in its next generation.
You can read more about Tata's production split between its 3 plants here