Sunday, February 03, 2008

Brand Update : Tata Indigo

One should admire the engineering team of Tata Motors for their path breaking efforts. Ofcourse the Tata Nano was the ultimate display of their talent but here I am talking about the new variant of Indigo . i.e Indigo CS..... CS means compact sedan.
Indigo has become smaller. The engineers in Tata tweaked the boot of Indigo and squeezed the length of the sedan within 4 meters. The cars which have less than 4 meters length qualifies for an excise rebate. Thus Indigo CS comes with a mouthwatering price of Rs 3.80 + ( ex-showroom) making it one of the cheapest sedans on the Indian roads.
The logic behind the launch of compact Indigo is to pre-empt competition and also to make the sedan more affordable to the consumers.
Recent launch of Logan had the potential to threaten the Indigo's position in the market. Logan - with its low price and good package had met with a good response both from consumers and auto-experts. Indigo CS variant will act as an effective Flanker brand for Indigo. Another reason is the huge potential space between a hatchback and a sedan.

Typically for a middleclass customer Sedan upgrade usually was a difficult dream. The entry level sedan costs anywhere from Rs 5 lakh + ( before the launch of Logan ) .The withdrawal of Esteem from the market also opened up a new opportunity for an entry level sedan. Even now for Indian consumers Sedan is preferred more than a hatchback ( preferences are changing) . Hence these customers opted for a luxury hatchback. Many marketers has used this opportunity to create the luxury hatchback segment which is now growing very fast.
This has affected Indigo verymuch. On one side , the competition from players within the segment and then competition from luxury hatchbacks. With the launch of Compact Indigo, Tata Motors is taking the fight into the hatchback's camp.
Indigo CS is launched with the slogan ' Class starts early '. The brand is eying the first time car buyers to stretch their budget a little and own a sedan rather than a small car. Now a potential Santro buyer have an option.
A usual question that comes to mind is whether the new variant cannibalize the original Indigo. I feel that to a certain extent it will cannibalize . But its better that the customer stays with the Tata models rather than go for a Logan or a i10. By launching this variant, Tata's sedan product range is now complete . In the entry level, there is CS, there are Indigo variants at the middle level and the lengthier Indigo XL at the higher end. Tata has ensured that in all these levels , customers get maximum value for money.
Will Indigo CS cannibalize Indica. The answer is Yes, but Tata will be happy since customers are paying more .

A reader had earlier commented that I am too emotional about Tata Motors and often forget the fact that their products lacks refinement . I know of Indica/ Indigo owners who are delighted with the performance of their cars and even chosen their upgrades from Tata Stable. Also I have seen many owners who had complaints about their Tata cars. I prefer to say that luck plays a part in whether your Tata car's performance. As a marketer, I feel that this should be an area of concern for the brand. Time is now ripe for Tatas to make their brands perfect interms of their performance. If Tata's could deliver Maruti like performance ( in terms of product quality) , nothing can stop them to become global majors.
Related Brands
Tata Indigo