Tata Motors plans to launch new products and variants of its highly-successful Ace mini-truck platform, according to R. Ramakrishnan, senior vice-president of commercial vehicles business unit of India’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer.
“A lot of efforts are being made towards keeping our costs low by using lighter material, besides building technologies around fuel efficiency, engine and auto transmission. We are currently working on developing electric and hybrid technologies on the Ace platform to cater to certain niches in this segment,” he said.
Speaking at a ceremony held last week to celebrate the completion of 10 years of Tata Motors’ small commercial vehicle (SCV) Ace series, Ramakrishnan said Tata Motors was currently leading the Indian market in this segment with an 85% market share.
“In any developed country, the ratio between large and small trucks is 1:4, while it is 1:2.5 in India. SCV is an attractive segment which offers huge untapped potential. We are seeing a lot of competition in this segment at different tonnage points. However, we believe that we will hold our 85% market share on the back of the reach that we have through our network,” he said.
Tata Motors launched Ace in 2005, producing 30,000 units per year at its manufacturing plant in Pune, the second largest city in the state of Maharashtra after the state capital Mumbai. Today, the dedicated plant at Pantnagar in Uttarakhand has the capacity to produce 500,000 units per year. To meet growing demand, Tata Motors started producing Tata Ace Zip mini-truck at its new plant in Dharwad, which is located between Bengaluru and Pune in the state of Karnataka, in 2012.
“Ace surpassed the 1.5 million sales mark in the last one decade. Currently, we are selling anywhere between 10,000 and 15,000 units of Ace a month,” Ramakrishnan said.
He said that Ace is equipped to comply with India’s Bharat Stage (BS) IV emission standards, which is equivalent to Euro IV.