Riding on the growing popularity of SUVs in India, Tata Motors has seen over 10,000 bookings for its premium SUV Harrier since opening in mid-October.
Launched in January, the company’s foray into the premium SUV segment is developed on Land Rover’s D8 Discovery architecture and positioned right in the heart of mid-size SUV market against rivals Hyundai’s Creta and Mahindra’s Jeep Compass.
Tata Motors Managing Director Guenter Butschek told ET the response to the Harrier has been encouraging and that has enabled the company get a new set of buyers into the brand.
“We have more than 10,000 pending orders, which is extremely strong. Could we have done better, sure. I would have loved to. From my own expectations of delivering exceptional quality, we did not meet expectations, but we were good so far and improving every day.
We are booked for the next four months and I think that is a good show,” added Butschek.
With the sustained momentum of Nexon compact SUV, Tata Motors has already secured a market share of over 8% in utility vehicle seg-ment so far this fiscal with sales of over 62,000 units. The market share of Tata Motors in utility vehicles has increased by 300 basis points over FY18.
With bookings opening in October and despite the launch in January, the company has not dispatched more than 2,000 units by the end of February, raising questions on quality issues of the product.
Butschek says there were some minor niggles which were addressed right at the dealer end. He said there was nothing fundamentally wrong in the product and the lower dispatches were on account of implementation of new product introduction process being put in place to deliver highest quality to the customers.
Asked if the company can sustain the momentum in a slowing market, Butschek said that Harrier is based on a versatile OMEGA architecture and there will be various iterations that will be introduced in the coming year.
On the Harrier itself he said that the diesel automatic is on the way and the one with the sunroof will also come.
There will be petrol post BS VI. The company is likely to plant a 1.6 litre petrol GDI on the Harrier post 2020, with eventual addition of hybrid system to meet CAFE norms of 2022.