Economic Times of India
Tata to Launch 'World Truck' in May
TATA Motors is understood to be working full throttle on the global launch of its high-profile 'world truck' by the end of May 2009. The country's largest CV maker is expected to gradually phase out its existing heavy and medium-range trucks, replacing them with the world truck, two officials close to the development said. "As a policy, Tata Motors does not talk about its future product launches. An announcement will be made at an appropriate time," said a Tata Motors spokesperson. "The world truck will sport a more expensive price tag. Given the current slowdown in the commercial vehicle market, Tata Motors will continue producing the existing range till the market picks up," said a person familiar with the development. Tata Motors is developing the world truck along with its subsidiary Daewoo Commercial Vehicles on a completely new platform. The trucks, powered with 185-565 HP engines, will compete with the likes of Volvo, Nissan, Mercedes Benz and MAN. The world truck, having up to 300 horse power (HP), will be launched in India, while the higher HP models will be for the global markets," said a senior company official. Price is a critical factor in the commercial vehicle segment and the company is keen to keep the prices of its new range as competitive as possible. The world truck will be priced at a premium of 5-10% compared to its existing range, as it will have far more features such as AC cabins. Although sales of commercial vehicles have started looking up this month, the company has put price hikes on hold for the moment. Every year, commercial vehicle majors increase prices in the range of 3-5% in April. During April to March 2009, CV sales have taken a 22% knock at 3.84 lakh units. Sales of Tata Motors for the last financial year fell by 22% to 2.33 lakh units.