Revealed! Why Tata Motors does not have petrol engine options on Harrier, Safari
Tata Motors has taken rapid strides in the Indian automotive industry in recent years with a wide array of products that transcend body types and powertrains. So while the company offers the Tiago and Punch on the one end of the price spectrum, there is also the enormously popular Harrier and Safari SUVs. But not every model is offered with every engine option available. The Harrier and Safari, for instance, get diesel engines only.
For a company that has petrol and diesel engines, a mammoth lead in the electric vehicle segment and has also deep dived into the world of CNG technology, Tata Motors is trying to be precise in its diverse range. As such and at this point in time, the company has no plans to introduce petrol engines on its large SUVs like Harrier and Safari.
Rajan Amba, VP for Marketing, Sales and Customer Service admits there may be a petrol-engine-preferring customer base for Harrier and Safari that is steering clear but also outlines just why these SUVs are diesel-only. “Look I am sure we are missing out. There is no doubt about that. (But) It is very difficult to meet every customers' expectations. When we try to do that, we end up complicating our portfolio to the extent that it is difficult to manage for our dealer partners as well," he tells HT Auto. “We use a lot of science and analytics to build a portfolio that is the most appropriate."
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Amba further explains that customers looking for models like Harrier and Safari tend to prefer diesel engines. He also adds that the petrol-engine-seeking customers have the option of opting for electric technology, an area where Tata Motors has taken an impressive lead. “With a growing investment from the company on the EV side, we see no reason why the petrol-seeking customers of these vehicles to go for the EV versions."
Little surprise then that Tata Motors showcased the Harrier EV at the Auto Expo 2023 earlier this month and is looking to bring out the production version in a few years' time. And in the meantime, many of its closest rivals are only now attempting to mount a challenge. Maruti Suzuki, for instance, has a petrol-engine-only strategy and will have its first EV in India by 2025. Hyundai offers Kona EV and recently-launched Ioniq 5 even if both models are considered quite premium and beyond the reach of the masses. Mahindra XUV400 was only recently launched. Then there is MG Motor India that offers ZS EV and plans to drive out the MG Air. Citroen eC3 is expected to have a sub- ₹10 lakh starting price and will be officially launched in February.