Thursday, October 19, 2006

Tata Sierra : RIP

Brand : Sierra
Company: Tata Motors
Agency: O&M

Brand Count :144

Sierra is the first passenger car from Telco ( Now Tata motors). Tata Sierra was launched in 1991 marking the transformation of a Truck manufacturer to a Passenger vehicle maker. Sierra was an entirely a new product in the Indian car market at that time. This three door vehicle was indeed the first SUV to hit the Indian roads.

Sierra was the baby of Ratan Tata and his first attempt to make a mark in the Indian Business world after taking over Telco. But the product bombed inthe market. Sierra can be said as a brand that came too early. The Indian market was not ready for this concept.

I personally love this car for its look. Most of you will agree that this vehicle is a stylish one. Even with the entry of all major SUV brands in India, Sierra looks contemporary ( my opinion) and modern.
Why did Sierra failed in the market?
a. Price
Sierra primarily failed in the market because of its steep price. Priced around Rs 5 lakh, the brand failed to appeal to the value proposition of the Indian consumer. Another factor was the corporate image of the company. Telco was rightly perceived as a truck manufacturer and Sierra was the first passenger car. Hence the consumers were not ready to shell out a premium for this brand

Then there was the quality issue. Sierra was a truck in the car form ( no problem with that!) .The consumers knew that and the price don't justify the quality proposition given in the product. Although steeply priced, Sierra had all the goodies that 2005 cars offered like power steering, power windows etc. Yet.... Sierra failed to enthuse the customers.

Sierra was rightly positioned as a sporty beast. The ads and campaigns rightly promoted the brand and it had all the potential to be an icon. Telco made a mistake in having high hopes for this brand. At the best, the product could have been a niche brand and an important one. The brand could have lifted the company to a higher level, had the quality issue was rectified.

Even today , we can see this car on the road . And most of the owners who uses this product because they like the brand not for any other reason such as low price.I read in an article that the design guru Dilip Chabaria loves the look of Sierra. As the old ad of Sierra says , "Sierra is not owned It is Possessed". Today Sierra's position is occupied by Scorpio and rightly so.. If launched again with a right price , there is still a market for Sierra.

Source: indicar,businessline,agencyfaqs.