Tata Ace races past 1-million mark

Tata Ace, the one-in-a-million idea from Tata Motors, now has a one million strong presence.

Karl Slym, Managing Director, Tata Motors Ltd (left) and Ravindra Pisharody, Executive Director, Commercial  Vehicles, Tata Motors Ltd with Tata Ace.

Introduced in May 2005, the Tata Ace, India’s first mini-truck, and the Tata Magic, its sister vehicle for passenger transportation introduced in June 2007, together crossed the one-million sales mark in August 2012 - just 2,680 days. Total sales, at the end of October 2012, are at 10,59,135 – 997,133 in India and 62,002 abroad.

Every fourth commercial vehicle sold in India today (2011-12 industry sales: 892,349) is a Tata Ace/Tata Magic (2011-12 sales: 214,483). In the process, it became India’s first one-lakh-per-year goods commercial vehicle in 2010. The same very year, the family’s fifth in the market, it crossed the half-a-million mark. The remaining half-a-million has come in the last two years. Indeed, the Tata Ace/Tata Magic family today has created a whole new segment of four-wheel small commercial vehicles.

More importantly, the Tata Ace family today is a major source of livelihood generation. At least 60 per cent of Tata Ace/Tata Magic owners are semi-educated youth – first-time users – who have launched goods or passenger transport operations with their vehicles.

As the Tata Ace family’s renown spread, Tata Motors went on to make deep inroads across the country. At present, about 1,346 showrooms, up from only 210 outlets, sell the two vehicles. About 50 per cent of the Tata Ace/Tata Magic sales come from semi-urban and rural India, where the company is establishing a dedicated sales & marketing network.

The Tata Ace was launched in 2004-05 with a capacity of 30,000 units per year in Pune. The dedicated plant in Pantnagar (Uttarakhand) today has a capacity of 5,00,000 units per year. The popularity of the Tata Ace has crossed the shores of India. Since 2006, the Tata Ace and the Tata Magic have as of now been made available in 24 countries – Angola, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Congo, Djibouti, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Italy, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The Tata Ace platform has thus far spawned about 10 main variants. Under the Tata Ace itself are the Ace HT, the Ace EX (with stop-start technology), the Ace CNG, the Super Ace (1 tonne) and the Ace Zip. The Ace Zip was introduced in 2012, a micro truck with a payload of 600 kg for deep penetration door-to-door goods movement. Under the Tata Magic are the Magic HT, the Magic CNG and the Magic Iris.

The Magic Iris was launched in 2012 as a 3-4 seater four-wheel passenger carrier for better comfort of commuters who depend on small auto-rickshaws. The platform also led to the launch of the Tata Venture in January 2011.

In addition, there have been a whole host of applications. Among them are tankers, dumper placers, cargo vans, mobile retail vans, café-on-wheels, high-lift cherry pickers, mobile hoardings, high security cash vans and taxi and school applications. The Tata Ace / Tata Magic family market share today is 78 per cent in cargo segment and 79 per cent in the passenger segment.

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