A couple of sources with knowledge in product developments of Tata Motors told IndianAutosBlog.com that dealers will receive the Tata Safari Storme in July by when the market launch is also expected to finish. The bigger development is Tata is not going to retire the currently selling model and will run it alongside the Storme.
Sources inside Tata Motors tell us that the new Safari will be launched in a phased manner across India as the production lines have to churn out both the new and old Safaris with some capacity constraints. Tata manages to shift about 1,000-1,500 units of the Safari every month.
The new Safari was showcased at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo sporting the current model's powertrain but with a restyled body and improved interior. The new Safari is bodied on the Aria's X2 platform and is not a monocoque like the Mahindra XUV500.
Tata Motors has started getting vocal about the new Safari. It has begun presenting spin-offs on its platform such as the Expedition variant showcased at the Expo and variants for special forces at the DEFEXPO held earlier this year. The company is also keeping its fans on Facebook guessing by featuring photographs of the car off-roading and jumping off crests.
Our sources tell us Tata will continue to sell the Aria as the flagship model and will not load the Safari with every feature. The model shown at the Auto Expo will reach the showrooms lacking high-end features like LCD display with navigation and steering-mounted controls for phone control.
Tata is said to price position the Storme slightly above the older Safari. The company has adopted the similar strategy in the past, cars such as the Vista and Manza have occupied positions higher than their predecessors. In the case of the Storme, that trend is expected to continue.