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Tata Motors targets M&M’s Scorpio

Monday, 19 June 2006 - 10:50pm IST

In its bid to take on M&M's best selling SUVScorpio, Tata Motors on Monday announced price cuts of up to Rs 1.7 lakh on its Safari range of SUVs.

Slashes Safari price by up to Rs 1.7 lakh.

MUMBAI: In its bid to take on Mahindra & Mahindra’s best selling sports utility vehicle (SUV) Scorpio, Tata Motors, India’s largest automobile manufacturer, on Monday announced price cuts of up to Rs 1.7 lakh on its Safari range of SUVs.

Scorpio enjoys an over 30% market share in the premium UV (over Rs 5 lakh) category, selling over 3,000 units a month.

Tata Motors said its Safari 90PS Turbo Charged Inter-cooled (TCIC) Diesel price would start at Rs 6.4 lakh (ex showroom, Delhi), 115 PS Direct Injection Common Rail (DICOR) Diesel from Rs 6.99 lakh onwards, and 127 PS Multi-point Fuel Injection (MPFI) Petrol from Rs 7.99 lakh onwards. The company also introduced two new colours of Safari -- Pearl White and Cherry Red.

Market watchers say Safari, launched in 1998, had priced itself out of the entry level market on one hand while losing the performance-focussed SUV buyer on the other. While the former category opted for the Scorpio, the latter class was going for Ford, Mitsubishi, and Hyundai models.

With this price cut, Tata Motors is looking at targeting the entry level SUV buyer, a segment where Scorpio had almost a clean run till now.

Against about 30,000 Scorpios sold last, Safari sales were merely 4,692. The overall UV segment grew by over 15% last year against a 7% growth in the passenger car segment. Other significant players in the market are Innova (about 3,000 units a month), Tavera (1,500), Sumo (700), and Bolero (1,000). M&M is the leader in the UV space.

However M&M has no plans to cut the price of Scorpio. “Inspite of Tata Safari matching the price of Scorpio, we believe Scorpio offers significant value proposition and we don’t intend to go for any price cuts. Scorpio is continuously upgraded and is a value-for-money product,” said Rajesh Jejurikar, executive vice president, automotive sector, M&M.

It may be recalled that in May M&M increased the price of Scorpio by Rs 8,000-11,000 after keeping it steady post the new Scorpio launch in March.

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