New Tata Tigor EV may take battery power to masses, could tag team with Nexon EV
Tata Motors is expanding its EV portfolio for mass consumers with new models. The homegrown carmaker is targeting a different set of buyers with its upcoming 2021 Tigor EV. The new Tata Tigor EV comes with a host of updates over the outgoing model.
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The outgoing Tigor EV has become popular among fleet operators. Tata Motors initially introduced it for the government agencies and fleet operators. Later in 2019, the automaker made the car available for mass buyers. However, the Tigor EV didn't exactly replicate the success that the Nexon EV has had.
Now, Tata Motors aims to turn the tide for the stylish electric sub-compact sedan. The new Tigor EV gets a host of design updates and Ziptron technology as well. This ensures the new Tigor EV will offer better performance compared to the outgoing model.
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How then will Tigor EV be positioned once officially launched come August 31 and what could it possibly mean for Nexon EV?
Tata Nexon EV is a premium product in mass-market segment
Tata Nexon EV is currently the bestselling electric passenger vehicle in India. The electric compact SUV has sold more than 5,500 units since its launch in January of 2020. In fact, it registered the best-ever sales numbers in June this year with 650 units retailed.
Tata Nexon EV currently has a 71% market share in the Indian electric passenger vehicle segment. During the April-June quarter of this financial year, Tata Motors has sold a total of 1,716 units of Nexon EV. Despite the competition from MG ZS EV and Hyundai Kona EV, Tata Nexon EV has been topping the chart consistently.
Nexon EV's success lies in the premium positioning of the car. The design, features and performance altogether offer its consumers a premium combination.
Tigor EV may undercut Nexon EV's sales only marginally
Tata Tigor EV will be priced cheaper than the Nexon EV. The Nexon EV currently comes at a starting price of ₹13.99 lakh (ex-showroom). Expect the upcoming Tigor EV to be available at a starting price of around ₹11 lakh (ex-showroom).
Industry veteran Avik Chattopadhyay believes as both the cars are positioned in different segments, Tigor EV won't impact Nexon EV sales much. “It will be the cheapest EV on offer. The Nexon EV is a more 'premium' vehicle in terms of performance, styling and features. The positioning strategy is clever by Tata Motors. But Nexon EV buyers downgrading to Tigor EV will be marginal," he tells HT Auto. Chattopadhyay is former marketing head, product planning and PR at Volkswagen India.
Other auto industry experts too believe that the chance of Tigor EV undercutting Nexon EV's sales numbers is minuscule. Only a marginal prospective Nexon EV buyers would go for Tigor EV.
Jay Kale, Senior Vice President, Elara Capital said that Nexon being a popular ICE model also helped its acceptance in the EV variant. Further SUV customers are more of additional buyers too. "Tigor in its EV avatar might add to Tata EV portfolio, however, the brand Tigor (selling just around 1,500-2,000 units) per month is weaker than brand Nexon," he added.
Puneet Gupta, Director, IHS Markit too echoes the view and believes there is enough market for both Tigor EV and Nexon EV to establish and garner substantial volumes. "The electric vehicle market is on verge of explosion. Though there is no doubt Nexon EV would be preferred by consumers who are looking for the dual experience of technology and driving SUVs," he added.
Tigor EV impact on competitors
If Tata Motors keeps Tigor EVs price around ₹11 lakh, it might compel competitor brands to price their cars even cheaper. India's largest car brand Maruti Suzuki is working on an electric variant of WagonR even though MSIL Chairman RC Bhargava believes the present time isn't ideal for a Maruti EV.
Others like Mahindra and Hyundai - OEMs with EV presence in India, may also fast track strategy for more affordable battery-powered options in the country.