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Published on: Oct. 18, 2021, 12:06 p.m.
Tata Motors packs a Punch!
  • Punch: a unique whitespace sub-compact SUV

By S.M. Boothem

After tasting success of its series of products – Tiago, Tigor, Nexon, Harrier, Altroz and  Safari, Tata Motors is now all set to make its entry with Punch – a sub-compact SUV to attract new buyers and to woo the customers to switch from small cars and hatchbacks.

The latest addition, the Punch reinforces the four core pillars that define all Tata SUVs – design, performance, spaciousness and safety. The Punch is available in both Manual (MT) and Automatic (AMT) transmission options along with customisation packs. It also offers 4 distinct personas – Pure, Adventure, Accomplished and Creative.   

The Punch is built on the Agile Light Flexible Advanced (ALFA) architecture with several industry-first innovations. Its tall stance, high ground clearance and driving position provide an exhilarating driving experience. The infotainment and connectivity offer a variety of tech features.  Tata Motors recently organised a test drive of Punch in different cities before the official launch on 20 October 2021 for price announcement.  According to the company officials, the response has been positive after the drive. We took the new car and drove around Navi Mumbai and JNPT, and were impressed with its performance.

Globally, SUVs as a category has been witnessing phenomenal growth and the volumes have grown by almost six times in the last decade. In India, road conditions have many challenges and SUVs are the ideal solution, as they offer a perfect balance of performance, comfort and durability. The SUV share has doubled in the last 5 years – from 15 per cent in 2015 to 32 per cent in 2021. With Tata Motors’ ‘New Forever’ portfolio, which includes Tata Safari, Harrier, Nexon, and the latest entrant Punch, SUVs will be one of the key focus areas for the carmaker.

Preference for SUVs

“Our ‘New Forever’ range is being appreciated for best-in-class safety, stylish design and driving pleasure. To strengthen our market position and sales, we have taken series of actions that have supported a step-change in our performance, like increasing awareness of our range through higher share-of-voice and focused campaigns on specific products”, says Vivek B Srivatsa, Head-Marketing, Passenger and Electric Vehicles Business Unit, Tata Motors.

“In FY21, Tata Motors established itself as a strong number 3 on the back of a phenomenal response received for the ‘New Forever’ range. All models gained market share in their respective segments, helping us record the highest market share gain from 4.8 per cent in 2020 to 8.2 per cent in 2021. In just 5 months of FY22, we have clocked a market share of 10.7 per cent on the back of launches like Altroz iTurbo, Safari, Tiago NRG and the recent additions – the DARK edition models. In Q2FY22, Tata Motors PV business posted a decade high quarterly sales of 83,933 units, registering a strong growth of 53 per cent versus Q2FY21. In September 2021, Tata Motors PV business sold 25,730 units, posting a growth of 21 per cent compared to September 2020, despite a major industry-wide shortage of electronic components,” further explains Srivatsa.

There are a number of steps taken by the company leading to the carmaker make it to the top three: Re-imagining relationships with channel partners, ‘Sell More - Earn More’ approach which helped in dealer profitability, a digital initiative such as “Click to Drive”, hyperlocal marketing to bring a seamless digital experience for customers. The expeditious ramping up of capacities in a coordinated way helped Tata Motors to ramp up in the industry in the middle of Covid restrictions, industry-wide supply chain stress, steel and semi-conductor shortages.

“The Punch has been developed by our three design studios in India, UK, and Italy. Over 140 design personnel participated in this project, producing hundreds of sketches, a number of design proposals and models that has ultimately led to this SUV. We have designed a unique whitespace sub-compact SUV that carries forward the same authenticity as Tata SUVs. Its muscular surfacing and athletic look make a perfect amalgamation for a tough SUV, living up to its bigger siblings. Intelligently designed in a compact footprint, it will be a high impact SUV and will redefine this crowded market,” says Martin Uhlarik, Global Head of Design, Tata Motors.

In terms of safety, the Punch is also expected to get a 5-star Global NCAP. Recently, Tata Motors achieved a feat of 10,000 EV customers. The company’s other models, Harrier is inching towards 50,000 units and the Altroz rolls out the 100,000th unit from its Pune plant.

Tata Punch can be booked on the company’s website and 1,000 showrooms across the country for Rs21,000. If priced competitively, the Punch will join the carmaker’s winning products and generate good volumes.

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