We are developing multiple new platforms in terms of products and customer engagement initiatives and given our scale, we are in the best position to efficiently integrate our products and services to deliver maximum value to our customers, at the lowest cost, says Vinod Sahay, Head-Sales and Marketing, Medium & Heavy Trucks, Tata Motors. Excerpts from the interview...
How do you expect to end this fiscal?
At Tata Motors, we have sold 36,883 units till July 2014. After two years of decline, we have seen some plateauing of sales in the medium and heavy commercial vehicle (M&HCV) segment, on what is a very low base. Other CV segments are yet to show signs of recovery.
The decision to extend the reduced excise by six months is a good thing but it is imperative there are key policy interventions to revive the economy. Only with improvement in macro-economic trends-especially growth in infrastructure development and overall investment sentiment-will we see a real turnaround in the CV industry. Hence, we will need to wait and watch.
What are your initiatives in the area of training drivers?
Tata Motors has a focused approach towards training drivers with the twin objectives of promoting safe driving and enhancing the supply of trained drivers for the country´s ever-growing vehicle population. With the launch of various new technologies by Tata Motors in the Indian market like rear engine, CNG, LPG, multiplexing, GPRS, automatic transmission, hybrid buses, BSIV, etc, there is a pressing need to train these drivers in-line with new and upcoming driving technology. To overcome the problem, Tata Motors has adopted the strategy of setting up driver training institutes across the country with support from the central and state governments.
Tata Motors´ partnered driver training institutes are operational at Muktsar in Punjab, Dimapur in Nagaland, Silchar in Assam and Ajmer in Rajasthan. All these institutes are equipped with driving tracks, simulators, dual control vehicles, cut sections of vehicle aggregates, class rooms, laboratories, hostels and experienced ´trainers´.
Elaborate on the services provided.
We provide various offerings including 24x7 onsite support service through mobile service vans, along with extensive driver and mechanic training. We also ensure quick services from our widest service network of our dealers and Tata Authorised Service Stations (TASS) across India. A team of Tata Motors´ trained supervisors and technicians posted at project sites; all necessary fast moving and critical spare parts/consumables stocked at the site. Technicians conduct preventive checks, routine maintenance and initiate necessary corrective measures on a daily basis and impart training to all your drivers on safety and economical driving habits.
We have dedicated container workshops at site which are equipped with necessary tools, fast moving parts/lubes storage space, small office space for supervisor to carry out comfortable operations; and also provide dedicated mobile service vans equipped with a company trained service team and necessary tools/Tata genuine parts/ lubes to carry out all service activities at the site.
Elaborate on the cabin design strategies adopted by you for the Indian market.
Tata Prima has been built with technical inputs from across the world. An Italian cab design, engine technology from the US and Europe, gearbox expertise from Germany, chassis frame know-how from Mexico, sheet metal dies from Japan and Korea, combined with Swedish precision on a robotic weld line. Hence, it is also referred to as the ´World´ truck. Tata Motors is expanding its range of Prima LX trucks to make the comfort, performance and reliability associated with the Prima brand available to a larger customer base. The Prima LX range is a result of customer feedback combined with evolving Indian operating conditions and Tata Motors´ efforts to One Step Ahead, combined with evolving Indian operating conditions, thereby enhancing the Prima portfolio and giving customers a wider choice in terms of a modern truck. We have also planned to launch a new cabin for our existing range of vehicles in near future. This cabin will not only change the face of Indian trucking but also take driver comfort and safety to new levels.
What is the scope for the concept of e-retailing in the Indian market?
The scope of e-retailing model for CV is very limited as of now. But we are definitely integrating technology in our processes to improve the customer experience and engagement.