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Tata Motors' new Indian hope

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - 01:26

India's Tata Motors begins selling its new car, named Zest, its first offering in four years as it tries to regain market share and plug losses in its domestic business, which has been hit by a slowing economy. Tata Motors has performed well in 2014 thanks to strong sales of its luxury Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles. Joanna Partridge reports

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Is this the car to turnaround Tata Motors' fortunes in its home market? The Zest is the company's first offering in India in four years. Tata hopes it will help it regain market share. Ranjit Yadav is Head of Passenger Vehicles. SOUNDBITE: TATA MOTORS' HEAD OF PASSENGER VEHICLES, RANJIT YADAV, SAYING (English): "We are targeting the personal customer, we are targeting people who are looking for a vehicle which performs and are looking for delight in performance. We are looking for customers who look for value." It's a departure from previous models, with user-friendly features such as touchscreen control panels. Tata Motors is India's biggest car maker by revenue. Strong sales of its luxury Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles from April to June helped it triple its first-quarter net profit. Tata enjoyed strong sales growth in China. But domestic sales haven't fared as well. While Tata dominates the truck and bus market in India, its passenger cars have failed to lure customers away from local rivals or foreign competitors like Hyundai and Honda. Tata cars are used as taxis, and it's struggling to overturn the image that they aren't cool. It's also been hit by a slowing domestic economy - India's battling its longest spell of under 5% growth in a quarter of a century. Despite this, India's car industry is expected to grow by 5-10% in the year from April - as the government works to revive reforms and boost consumer confidence.

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Tata Motors' new Indian hope

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - 01:26