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Tata Motors, India’s top commercial vehicle maker, is gunning for a larger share of the first-mile, last-mile pickup truck segment, which is dominated by Mahindra and Mahindra.

Pickup trucks account for one of the largest sub-segments in the commercial vehicle market with a monthly average volume of 25,000 units. Small commercial vehicles are used for last-mile transportation, primarily for agricultural and dairy products, besides forming the logistics network of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies and e-commerce firms. The segment is poised to witness high growth as India’s consumption continues to gather pace.

Tata Motors on Monday launched a range of pickup truck models, including the first bi-fuel truck in the one-tonne category, which runs on both CNG and gasoline, and can deliver a range of 700 km. The company will focus on building product awareness and outreach activities, besides expanding the network to ensure it can capture a “lion’s share of growth in this segment," said Girish Wagh, executive director, Tata Motors, in an interview.

“This is a very opportune time to increase our presence in the segment. The segment addresses the country’s increasing logistics needs in the e-commerce, first-mile last-mile space even as consumption increases. Our first step towards this is to come up with a formidable product range which we have done today, with the new Tata Yodha 2.0 and Intra ranges we now have possibly the most comprehensive range of pick-up trucks in India. Now we will follow it up with other actions, which is about positioning and communication. We will ramp up our communication to increase awareness and ensure we are in the buyers’ consideration set. With this formula, we are also increasing our network on sales as well. Hence, it is not only the right time for us to launch the products, but we are also very well positioned to capture the big growth that we are expecting to in this segment." Wagh said.

Unlike most large vehicle categories, pickup trucks plying in rural regions attract many retail customers, who will be the key focus for Tata Motors.

Earlier in September, Tata Motors launched more than a dozen medium and heavy commercial vehicles with advanced connected technologies and transmission options with alternative fuels like CNG.

“Looking into the future, there are very clear macro trends playing out. One is the movement towards net-zero emissions, which means the industry has to move to electrification. We will continue to push ourselves with newer products and propositions, which will answer some of the anxieties in terms of technology or the life cycle proposition of vehicles," Wagh said.

“The National Logistics Policy calls for reducing the logistics cost as a percentage of gross domestic product from 14% to 10%. and lowering cost of ownership of commercial vehicles. We are putting in advanced engineering efforts in new technologies to ensure we are able to catch up with the changing technological landscape as the market evolves," he added.


Alisha Sachdev

Alisha Sachdev is an assistant editor with Mint based in Delhi. She reports on the auto and mobility sector, with a special focus on emerging clean mobility technologies. She also focusses on developing multimedia properties for Mint and currently hosts the 'In A Minute' series and the Mint Primer podcast. Previously, she has worked with CNBC-TV18 and NDTV.
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