Report – Tata Ace, the One in a Million idea!
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India’s first mini truck, popularized by the name“Chota Hatthi” (small elephant) which was introduced in May 2005 and a passenger carrier based on it, Tata Magic, came to market in June 2007.
Together, the Ace brand has clocked sales figures of more than ten lakh units.
The one millionth sale took 2,680 days. The Ace has made its presence felt in 24 other countries since exports began in 2006. 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 are the countries where the Ace and its variants have made their mark in the small commercial vehicle segment.
By the end of October 2012, 10,59,135 numbers of Ace/Magic have been sold, out of which 9,97,133 units are sold in India and 62,002 units have made it to other countries.
According to the statistics, every 4th commercial vehicle sold in India is either a Tata Ace or a Tata Magic. The company reached a sales figure of 5 lakh units in 2010 and the rest half million took just 2 years. The company is working on new variants, with which it hopes to clock an additional 2 million within the next 36 months.
The Tata Ace took birth after market research showed that there was a void in the Rs. 2-3 lakh segment for a vehicle that could be slotted between a three wheeler and a larger pickup. It was designed and produced so that the per-unit cost stayed as low as possible.
As of today the production capacity for the Ace is 5,00,000 units per year at the dedicated plant in Uttarakhand.
Tata Motors has 1,346 showrooms which sells both models. About 50% of sales comes from semi-urban and rural India. Tata hopes to expand the network to 2,000 outlets in the next few years.
Currently the Tata Ace platform has 10 variants.
- Ace HT
- Ace EX (with start-stop technology)
- Ace CNG
- Super Ace (1 tonne)
- Ace Zip
- Magic HT
- Magic CNG
- Magic Iris
- Tata Venture
- Ace Refresh (coming soon)
In addition to the above models, special variants for specific applications are also made including tankers, dumpers, cargo vans, mobile retail vans, café-on-wheels, high-lift cherry pickers, mobile hoardings, high security vans, taxi and school vans. More variants will be added in the coming years.
The Tata Ace/Magic family has a 78% market share in the cargo segment and 79% in the passenger segment.