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Photo: PTI
Photo: PTI

Opinion | Micro market strategy key to developing customized mobility solutions

In a connected India, travel will be more efficient, with real-time traffic management

Declining GDP and subdued demand environment due to the overlap of cyclical and structural issues, growing environmental challenges, and unpredictable policy frameworks have made the growth story of the Indian auto industry more challenging. To add to this situation, we still have the wrong incentive system due to the wholesale-based market share reference, and the unnecessary confusion in the consumers’ mindset on the choice of technology—BS-IV and BS-VI, ICE and EV.

As the cyclical impact is strong and out of the industry’s control, the structural factors are more worrisome as they are prompting the industry to provide cleaner and smarter mobility solutions for India. It has given birth to new technology developments across the automotive and supply chain, enabling safe, responsible and sustainable solutions. India, as a country, has the capability and competence to leapfrog the technology curve, outperform the global trends, and be a leader. India being a diversified market, needs customized solutions. The answer lies in working towards a micro market strategy to develop customer-centric solutions for urban and rural mobility.

To master the challenges and India’s unique opportunities, technology, talent and time to market will be key. At Tata Motors, our focus is on CESS, which stands for Connected, Electric, Shared and Safe, to revolutionize the mobility agenda.

Connected: Our customers want to stay connected all the time. Connected vehicle technologies are being developed at a rapid pace with companies pouring in huge investments. In a connected India, travel will be more efficient with real-time traffic management. We, at Tata Motors, have developed a fully indigenous connected vehicle platform (CVP) for commercial, passenger and electric vehicles. The CVP will collect data, perform analytics, enhance decision-making and above all, bring new opportunities by enabling a truly digital consumer experience and tapping new revenue streams. Our CVP offering will be distinct to others, as it will come with a host of unique features.

Electric: As fuel reserves deplete at a rapid pace and the growing impact of climate change begins to pose a serious risk to our current and future generations, the world is waking up to the need for sustainable mobility solutions. At the core of the discussion is the electrification journey. In India, electrification is finding a new evolved space in all discussions and debates. The Prime Minister’s initiative of a first-ever Global Mobility Summit (MOVE), last year, gave a unique platform to the industry and the related stakeholders to kickstart the mandate of defining the electrification roadmap for India. We have challenges as well as opportunities in our way to electrification. Availability of charging infrastructure, readiness of battery manufacturing capacity and customers’ range anxiety are the key concerns.

Shared: Shared mobility is critical to India’s future growth and delivering on consumers’ aspiration of enhanced quality of life. As aspirations start outpacing affordability and infrastructure bottlenecks, organizations need to find innovative ways to solve the challenges of congestion, poor productivity, efficiency, transparency and accessibility within the transport ecosystem.

The existing urban infrastructure is under immense strain and there is a need to build sustainable and safe cities including smart mobility concepts. Towards this end, the government’s ‘Smart Cities’ Mission, initiated in 2014, envisages the setting up of 100 smart cities across the country. This is a great opportunity for technological innovations in the shared mobility space. It serves as one of the most promising hot spots for new and pioneering start-ups. We, at Tata Motors, are actively seeking partners to help us grow our presence in the shared economy.

Safe: It’s not a proud statistic to have a traffic related fatality every four minutes. Besides an advanced infrastructure and navigation system, safe mobility will depend on stricter enforcement of safety norms for vehicles as well as drivers/passengers. This year, the government has rolled out a host of new safety norms, i.e., ABS, driver-side airbag, a speed warning system, a seat belt reminder for driver and co-driver, and rear parking sensors, and new stringent requirements for full-frontal impact, aiming to reduce the instances of road accidents and ensuing fatalities. With our engineering talent and competence, we have been able to set a new benchmark in car safety standards. The Tata Nexon became the first car in India to achieve a full ‘5 stars’ adult safety rating from Global NCAP. Now the Altroz becomes our second product and the first hatchback in India to receive a ‘5 stars’ adult safety rating.

Tata Motors would like to lead the disruption in CESS and drive mobility in an inclusive, sustainable and transformational (IST) manner. IST is the only answer to solve India’s current mobility challenges. ‘I’ denotes the inclusivity of our thoughts with all aspects under consideration, a mutually agreed plan by all relevant parties. ‘S’ denotes the sustainability of our actions, the rigor and execution of our plans to address the key pain points, and ‘T’ denotes the transformational approach to lead the future, by translating our joint vision into reality. We commit to drive the future of mobility in a connected India by providing responsible and sustainable mobility solutions.

Guenter Butschek is CEO and managing director, Tata Motors

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