Tata Motors, the Indian company that wants to run with the automotive big dogs in the global economy, announced yesterday its latest adventure – the World Truck.
The World Truck, the company says, will provide more power, carrying capacity and operating economy than its current lineup of trucks. The vehicle was developed in conjunction with two subsidiaries, Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicle Company in South Korea and the Tata Motors European Technical Centre in the UK.
According to reports, the World Truck is Tata’s attempt to challenge Volvo and Mercedes Benz for global truck market share. “The developing infrastructure in India makes it possible for transporters to reap the benefit of trucks with higher power, speed and carrying capacity,” said Ratan N. Tata, chairman of Tata Sons and Tata Motors. “The new range from Tata Motors will meet those needs. It will also help us penetrate international markets more effectively and competitively.”
One of the standard options for the truck will be GPS tracking, a relative novelty in India as standard equipment. That should give it a leg-up on competition in the world’s fifth biggest truck and bus market. Whether that translates to other markets will be determined.
It is interesting timing for the announcement as world demand for trucks slows, or rather slams to a stop. Most major manufacturers are reporting big drops in sales, and then along comes a new player in the global marketplace. One, in fact, that reported just this morning a 51% drop in revenue in March and by various reports is struggling under debt it incurred to purchase Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford Motor Co. last year.
According to a New York Times article, analysts believed Tata needed to revamp its truck lineup to compete with Volvo and Daimler, both of which are now selling commercial vehicles in India. What once was the domain of Tata is no more.
Now, we’ll wait to see if Tata can compete with the global pack.