Tata to launch Xenon pickup trucks in India

Tata to launch Xenon pickup trucks in India

Pune: Tata Motors Ltd, which sells its Xenon brand of pickup trucks in South-East Asia and parts of Europe, plans to launch the vehicle in the domestic market next month, said Arun Shekhar Prasad, general manager, auto production, Tata Motors. He declined to comment on the Xenon’s price.

The 1-tonne pickup, which the company launched in Thailand in March, will be positioned in the premium lifestyle segment, with features such as power steering, he added.

The market for pickups in India is predominantly in the cargo segment. In 2007-08, 125,000 pickups were sold in India, including Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd’s Maxx, Tata Motors’ 207 DI and Force Motors Ltd’s Trax, said an analyst who tracks the sector but did not want to be named.

In the first half of the current fiscal year, auto makers sold 109,804 utility vehicles in India, a segment that come closest to lifestyle pickups, according to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, or Siam, an industry body. Siam does not give a break-up for pickups sold in the country.

Tata Motors has a joint venture with Thailand’s Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant Co. Ltd and uses a facility of this company as a hub to export the Xenon to South-East Asia. It also exports up to 600 units of the pickup to South Africa and Spain from its factory in Pimpri near Pune, Prasad said.

Currently, no Indian or foreign company sells pickups in the premium segment in the country.