The Topsy Turvy ride of Renault Captur comes to an end in India

Renault India has announced that it will discontinue the Captur model in India. Captur’s journey never saw the light at the end of the tunnel, and has succumbed to its poor show in the Indian market. Right from its launch in 2017, the model never ever made an impact in the market, be it the styling or the pricing. What Renault thought could help it barge into the Indian market and regain its lost glory, actually made its name slip deeper, with the model not even making it to the choice list for the customers looking for the best in the range. Indian customers usually look for traditional, masculine and heavy features (at least in appearance) when speaking of SUV’s, and could never imagine nor consider the softy Captur as an SUV. Captur – an  SUV, really?, was the general thought.  Making an impact in the most sought after segment, that too against formidable players, is definitely tough. The company that opened up the segment in India with Duster, the most sought after segment in the recent past, could now hardly compete against its rivals. Hyundai’s Creta literally pushed Captur to the brink, but what came as a death blow could be Kia’s Seltos.

Captur’s sales figures in India though were mediocre from the beginning, is a completely different story in the rest of the world. Captur was the second best-selling vehicle for Renault globally at least until 2019. The model actually helped the brand expand its presence in markets like Brazil and Russia, and also put it in a commendable position in Europe. The makers couldn’t translate its global success in India, may be they just did not read the Indian minds well.

The below graph shows Captur’s performance gloabally, since its inception in 2013, and its last 12 months performance in India –

Global Performance Source – Jato

So, what could’ve gone wrong – was it the timing of the launch?, was it wrongly priced?, or was it just Too Much Hype –  Too Little features? Comment your thoughts.

(The article is written by Karthick. He is an auto enthusiast, and an engineer by profession, currently employed in an auto MNC at Chennai; has a craving on new tech and a particular interest on the Indian automotive market.)

Offers on Renault Models for June 2020

Find Offers / Discounts on Renault Models for June 2020 here –

  • Kwid: Discounts upto ₹39,000 (Cash Discount of ₹10,000 + Exchange Bonus of ₹15,000 + Loyalty Bonus of ₹10,000 + Corporate Discount of ₹4,000). Also avail Finance at 8.99% Rate of Interest and No EMI for the first 3 months.
  • Triber: Discounts upto ₹37,000 (Exchange Bonus of ₹20,000 + Loyalty Bonus of Rs.10,000 + Corporate Discount of ₹7,000). Also avail Finance at 8.99% Rate of Interest and No EMI for the first 3 months.
  • Duster: Discounts upto ₹80,000 (Cash Discount of ₹15,000 + Exchange Bonus of ₹25,000 + Loyalty Bonus of Rs.20,000 + Corporate Discount of ₹20,000). Also avail Finance at 8.99% Rate of Interest and No EMI for the first 3 months.

Product Lifecycle Analysis – Tata Motors

Do read our article on the Product Lifecycle for Maruti Suzuki models – here

Tata Motors entered the Passenger Vehicle segment in the year 1991 and Sierra was its first offering in the Indian market. This was followed by the launch of the Tata Estate in 1992 and the Tata Sumo in 1994 – India’s first sports utility vehicle. Tata started off really well in its first decade of operations and its models like Sumo, Safari and Indica were breakthrough successes. However; the influx of global OEMs and relative success of Maruti & Hyundai made things difficult for the Indian major and has suffered majorly in the past 10 years. Reeling with product & reliability issues Tata Motors have taken huge steps to turnaround its image as a futuristic & quality conscious automaker. We show how the same has reflected in the OEMs Products Life Cycle in this post.

Things to consider before going through the article –

  • The graphs represent the marque/brand lifecycle. Each brand may involve a numerous updates/facelifts/platform changes. We have tried to cover that in detail through the model description.
  • We have considered the Launch & Discontinued timeline basis the start and end of dispatches of the respective models.

Lets see the Lifecycle of Tata Motors’ Models – 

  • Tata Motors has introduced 16 models in the Indian Market since 1991.
  • Out of these 16 models; 11 have been discontinued! Only 5 models are currently on sale in the Indian soil.
  • Many of iconic offerings – Indica / Safari / Sumo / Nano have been discontinued. Tata Motors have restructured their overall portfolio on the Impact Design 2.0 with the intent of making Tata cars more desirable and elevate their equity as a reliable carmaker.




The Discontinued Tata Motors models list and their age –  

1. TATA SUMO –

Sumo was Tata’s longest running model. It was present in the Indian Market for almost 25 years! The Sumo was launched in 1994 as a 10 seater rear-wheel-drive SUV. The Sumo was based on the Telcoline’s Tata X2 body-on-frame platform with a redesigned and strengthened rear axle to adapt it to off-road use with part-time all-wheel drive. The Sumo 4WD was sold to fleets and the Indian army. Prior to the Sumo, the Indian market was stagnated with only M&M selling Willys Jeep based models. Upon release, Tata Sumo quickly captured a major segment of the utility automobile market in India.

Upgrades/Next-Gen:

  • Tata Sumo Spacio (2000-2011) – Tata Sumo Spacio was launched in 2000. The major changes to Sumo were in the powertrain (a new 2956 cc direct injection naturally aspirated diesel engine was introduced). It also had a longer wheelbase as compared to earlier version; the Spacio used a different transmission, rear axle and tyres specifically to get better fuel economy.
  • Tata Sumo Victa (2004-2011) – Launched in 2004 the Sumo Victa was a facelifted version of Tata Sumo Spacio. The updates included all new interiors, a tachometer, multifunctional instrument panel, power steering, power windows on all four doors, key-less entry and hosts of other comfort features. In later 2007, Tata Motors launched the upgraded version called Sumo Victa Turbo DI.
  • Tata Sumo Grande (2008-2016) – Tata Motors launched the Sumo Grande on 10th January 2008 powered with a new 2.2 Dicor common rail diesel engine 120 bhp (89 kW; 122 PS). It featured a completely different body work and was designed by Concept Group International LTD in the UK.

2. TATA SAFARI –

The Tata Safari was a mid-size SUV produced by Tata Motors since 1998. The brand stayed in the Indian market for 21 years and was also Tata’s one of the few offerings was targeted for markets like Europe. It was primarily India’s first premium SUV and had a loyal fan following.  The name Safari was adopted to emphasize the supposed off-road qualities of the vehicle. The Safari when launched was powered by a 2.0 litre Peugeot XD88 turbodiesel unit with 87 PS (64 kW) power. It came with a synchromesh forward five-speed manual gearbox, with a 4WD option and 235/75×15 tyres. The model was majorly unchanged until 2012 when the Safari Storme was launched –

  • Safari Storme (2012–2020) – The Tata Safari Storme was launched in October 2012. The main changes included new front and rear lights, new grille and redesigned bumpers, the rear spare wheel has been moved under the floor and the tailgate was new. The body shell was completely new; overall design silhouette remained unchanged though.

3. TATA INDICA –

It was the first passenger hatchback from Tata Motors and is also considered to be India’s first indigenously developed passenger car! Launched in 2008; it was said to be the most modern car ever to be designed by an Indian company.  It had 1.4-L petrol & diesel inline-four engine designated internally as 475DL.

Upgrades/Next-Gen:

  • Indica Vista (2008–2015) – Launched in the year 2008; it was built on a completely new platform and shared nothing with the earlier Indica. It was bigger than the previous Indica and was 3,795 mm (149.4 in) long with a wheelbase of 2,470 mm (97.2 in). It came in with two new Fiat engines, a 1.3 L Quadrajet common rail direct injection diesel and a 1.2 L Safire MPFI VVT petrol engine. Indica Vista saw some updgrades too.
    • Indica Vista Quadrajet – Tata Motors increased the engine line-up of Vista,  with an all new variant christened as Quadrajet 90 was introduced.
    • Indica Vista D90 – The Vista D90 was the most powerful Vista and was powered by Fiat sourced 1.3-litre multi-jet engine that gave out maximum power of 90 PS.

4. TATA INDIGO –

It was the four-door saloon version of the Tata Indica and was launched in Jan 2003. The Indigo had a greater wheelbase than the Indica, to accommodate the C-pillar and the trunk. Indica featured the turbocharged variant of 1.4L diesel engine, which produced 68 hp. The car was also offered with a 1.2 L 68 hp 4-cylinder MPFI petrol engine.

In 2006, the first major design update for the Indigo was done. It came with new body panels, a redesigned front grille housing double-barreled headlamps, triangular front fog-lamps, a multi-reflector tail-lamp cluster with dual brake lamps; a newer 3-spoke steering wheel, refreshed dual-tone fabric interiors, and an audio system with a CD player. Under the hood, it also featured a new 1.4 L Dicor turbocharged common rail diesel engine, which produced 70 hp (52 kW) and complied with the Bharat Stage III emission norms.

Upgrades/Next-Gen:

  • Indigo CS (2008–2018) The Indigo ECS (compact-sedan) was launched in 2008 and was India’s first sub-4m Compact Sedan. At launch, the Indigo CS was the shortest sedan in the world! With a length of 3,998 mm; it allowed Tata Motors to avail excise-duty incentives targeted at cars with under 4 meters of length.
  • Indigo Manza (2009-2016)It was launched on 14 October 2009. It later had a BS-IV compliant engines sourced from Fiat. These include the 1.4 L Fiat FIRE petrol engine (re-branded as Safire), and the 1.3 L MultiJet common-rail diesel engine featuring a variable turbine turbocharger (re-branded as Quadrajet 90). Both engines had a power output rating of 90 HP.

5. TATA SIERRA –

It was the first SUV to be designed and produced in India. Tata Sierra was primarily a three-door Sports Utility Vehicle. It was powered by a 2.0-liter (1,948 cc) four-cylinder diesel Peugeot XD88 naturally aspirated manufactured under license by Tata Motors in India with two valves per cylinder and indirect injection with pre-chamber and 63 horsepower.

6. TATA NANO – Read more about the Nano here.



7. TATA ESTATE

The Tata Estate was a station wagon car produced by Tata Motors between 1992 until 2000. The Estate’s exterior was based on Mercedes-Benz station wagon design made at the time of conception, in particular the T-series estate-type cars. It was powered by a Peugeot sourced 1.9-litre diesel engine producing 67 bhp at 4500 rpm and torque of 118 Nm at 2500 rpm, mated to a 5-speed manual transmission.

8. TATA ARIA –

It was launched to customers on 12 October 2010. Tata Aria was said to a blend of an MPV and an SUV. Tata Motors actually designed the Aria in collaboration with Jaguar-Land Rover (JLR), its subsidiary. Aria featured an engine designed in-house by Tata Motors. Called 2.2L Varicor, it was a common-rail diesel engine with an inline 4-cylinder topology, featuring a variable-geometry turbocharger with intercooler. The engine was rated with a maximum output of 150 PS (110 kW) at 4000 RPM, with a maximum torque of 320 Nm, at 1700 RPM. The engine is mated with a 6-speed manual transmission, with four-wheel drive and two-wheel drive variants.

9. TATA ZEST

The Zest was part of Tata’s Falcon programme and was based on existing platforms on which the Tata Indica Vista and Indigo Manza were built.

10. TATA BOLT

Bolt was showcased parallel to Tata Zest. It was powered by the 1.2-litre Revotron Turbocharged MPFi engine which gives a power of 90 PS and torque of 140 Nm.

11. TATA HEXA

The Tata Hexa was based on the company’s previously used Aria platform, with a body-on-frame chassis. It used Tata’s Impact design language. The company used its three design studios in India, the UK and Italy for designing cars in this design framework.



List of Tata Motors models currently on sale in India – 

1. TATA TIAGO –

The Tata Tiago was born as the successor of the Tata Bolt. The base platform was the Tata X1 chassis that also adopted the previous Indica and Bolt but was heavily modified and shortened because with the new car Tata Motors wanted to lower the list price as well as the production costs. Also the engines were all new and the old Fiat 1.2 FIRE and 1.3 Multijet unit adopted by the previous models were abandoned.

  • JTP Version (2018) – In October 2018, Tata launched the Tiago JTP, a sporty version Tiago with 1.2 litre Revotron Turbo engine with max output of 114 PS of power which is 29 PS more than all the other versions.
  • FACELIFT (2020) – The face-lifted Tata Tiago was unveiled alongside the Tigor in 2020. It included cosmetic changes along with the BS6-complaint engine update.

2. TATA TIGOR –

The Tata Tigor was born directly from the same project that originated the Tata Tiago. Compared to the Zest the Tata Tigor is slightly shorter than a few millimeters, and even the pace measures only 2 millimeters less, the overall length is 3,994 meters as in India the cars that fall within the 4 meters limit enjoy tax breaks.

  • Tigor EV – In October 2019, Tata Motors has launched the Tigor EV for private owners. It has an extended the range from 142 km to 213 km on a single charge according to ARAI certification. It is reported that the Tigor EV will be the cheapest electric car available for commercial buyers.

3. TATA NEXON – The Tata Nexon is a subcompact crossover SUV produced by Tata Motors since 2017. It is the first Indian-made car to earn a 5-star Global NCAP rating.

  • Nexon EV (2019) – The electric version of the Nexon was revealed on 19 December 2019. The Nexon EV uses components from Tata Motors electric vehicle technology brand Ziptron. The electric motor produces 127 hp and 245 Nm of torque. It has a 30.2 kWh battery pack that is claimed to offer a range of up to 300 km.
  • Facelift (2020) – Tata Motors launched the new facelifted Nexon with some feature additions and a BS6 engine on Jan 2020. The 2020 Nexon has the BS6 Diesel engine with 110 PS @ 4000 RPM & Petrol – 1.2L Turbocharged Revotron engine with 120 PS @ 5500 RPM.

4. TATA HARRIER

The Tata Harrier is a five-seater compact SUV produced by Tata Motors. It was launched in Indian market on 23 January 2019 and is positioned between the subcompact Tata Nexon and the Tata Hexa. The car is a C-segment SUV based on the OmegaArc platform, an essentially re-engineered version of the Jaguar Land Rover D8 platform adopted by models such as Range Rover Evoque, Discovery Sport and Jaguar E-Pace. The OmegaArc compared to the original D8 has been redesigned to lower production costs by adopting different alloys and rear suspension with twist-beam scheme and panhard rod with coil spring, cheaper than the multilink of the Jaguar Land Rover models, while the front axle maintains the same MacPherson strut with coil spring and anti roll bar. The body has smaller amounts of high-strength steel. The engine is the 2.0 ltrs. Multijet 16-valve four-cylinder turbo diesel with common rail direct injection, variable-geometry turbocharger, delivering 140 horsepower and 350 Nm of torque, produced by Fiat.

5. TATA ALTROZ

The car was launched on 22 January 2020. It was the first Indian-made hatchback car to achieve 5 star Global NCAP rating. It is based on the Agile Light Flexible Advanced (ALFA) Architecture, along with energy-absorbing body structure, accounts for the absolute safety of the passengers.

Tiago is now the oldest model in the current lineup of Tata Motors in the Indian market. Tata has invested significantly in the past few years to refresh its model lineup and is clearly visible in the aforementioned product lifecycle analysis. This also reflects that these models MUST perform well in terms of volumes to recover the investment made by Tata Motors and also ensure that it is successful in elevating overall Brand Image of the OEM. Technically, the models like Nexon & Altroz have proved their worth in the Global NCAP tests and shows Tata’s capability to manufacture world class and safe cars. Tata Motors has played its bet by getting an offering in all major segments – Hatchback (Tiago), Compact Sedan (Tigor), Premium Hatchback (Altroz), Compact SUV (Nexon) & Mid SUV (Harrier). However; the sales numbers will speak for its success and model viability.

ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab hosts online ‘COVID-19 Mobility Race’ hackathon

  • International hackathon of ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab and ŠKODA AUTO held online for the first time, under the theme ‘COVID-19 Mobility Race’
  • 25 independent IT teams and 27 high-tech companies from 19 countries worked on innovative digital solutions for the car trade
  • 2 teams from India won top prizes at the global Covid Mobility Race
  • ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab supports the winners in developing their project ideas and offers the prospect of collaboration

ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab has played host to the global online ‘COVID-19 Mobility Race’ hackathon. The theme of this year’s ideas competition, which took place from 4 to 7 June 2020, set the tone: the event was dedicated to the current challenges facing the automotive industry as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. How can a vehicle be bought and delivered whilst following stringent social distancing measures? What options are there for car buyers to virtually view their dream car? And what role will digital mobility services play in the future? 25 independent teams and 27 high-tech companies from 19 countries came up with surprising and innovative answers to these questions. While the team from Israeli high-tech company Matter beat its competitors with 3D virtual showroom technology in the main track, Indian firm Xenon Automotive India won the region specific track for their product NEXO which is suite of an apps that helps dealers and OEM’s to offer the best purchasing experience to their customers in post Covid world, that includes demo and test drive, ensuring optimal utilization of test drive fleet utilization and will now be supported by ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab and have a chance for further collaboration with experts from the innovation lab.

Another Indian team Ctrl+Alt_Covid, consisting of 2nd year students from IIT Guwahati, presented an innovative idea for creating a new normal in post COVID world. Their solution uses deep learning and image processing algorithms to provide the user with the count of people at the given location at that time. Their product goal is to create a safe space and promote social distancing.

All around the globe, the past few weeks and months have been marked by measures taken to prevent the coronavirus from spreading further. Of course, this also affected the automotive industry and in particular car dealerships. The ‘COVID-19 Mobility Race’ hackathon organised by ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab and ŠKODA AUTO therefore asked the question of how innovative concepts can be integrated into everyday working life and how these can benefit ŠKODA and its worldwide sales and service network.

Andre Wehner, ŠKODA AUTO Chief Digital Officer, stated, “The current situation has shown that many areas of our lives, both on a private as well as a professional level, can be carried out much more digitally. For us, the current crisis therefore also presents an opportunity. We would like to make the most of what we have just learned and make use of the existing technical possibilities in order to cater to the needs of our customers even more specifically. This year’s international online hackathon has delivered exciting new approaches and innovative concepts. And the participants’ response has demonstrated that the potential is far from exhausted.”

IT teams and high-tech companies from all over the world took part in ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab’s four-day international hackathon, including teams from Europe as well as from China, India and Israel, where the DigiLab spin-offs are based. ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab awarded a separate winner for a special category dedicated to IT solutions for the Indian market. There was also a special focus on the IT hotspot Israel, where the winner is from: ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab Israel Ltd supported the tech companies from Tel Aviv throughout the competition.

For four days and nights, the teams programmed, discussed and optimised their proposals. The spectrum of projects ranged from online viewing of new and used vehicles, innovative disinfection options, shared mobility, logistics and infrastructure concepts, to new business models in relation to social distancing. The panel of experts including ŠKODA AUTO Chief Digital Officer, Andre Wehner, and ŠKODA AUTO DigiLabs’ Managing Director, Jarmila Plachá, as well as other specialists voted Israeli company Matter’s project on a virtual showroom to be the best from the ‘COVID-19 Mobility Race’. They favoured this concept as it is interactive, can be presented very realistically and can be implemented flexibly. The victorious team will now be supported by ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab, enabling them to further develop their project. Furthermore, ŠKODA AUTO will investigate whether and how the project can be put into practice.

This year’s event was ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab’s fourth hackathon. Since its debut in 2017, the ideas competition has also attracted a great deal of attention in the tech and IT start-up scene because of the exciting and innovative contributions the teams have made, presenting ŠKODA AUTO as an attractive employer for young IT talent.

Impact of IoT on Automotive Product lifecycle & change in business model

For the last few years, if anyone types these 3 words “Automotive Trending Topics” on any search engines, clearly these 4 distinct and univocal topics will come up every single time. These are Autonomous vehicle, Electric Vehicle, Shared Mobility and Connected Vehicle. The focus today will to be to discuss in depth on the topic of Connected Vehicles. So what exactly is Connected Vehicle? In simple terms, it refers to the communication of one car with other cars / with the traffic management infrastructure / with the vehicle occupants / with the outside world. The car of the future will become a “third place” between home and workplace, combining features of both. This is where IoT (Internet of Things) steps in, which is a collection of interrelated computing devises which have the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. Thus, connected vehicle will soon be an integral part of IoT by being one amongst those connected devices.

Image Source

The present computing devices such as Mobile phone, Laptop, Tablets and other gadgets, have a typical product lifecycle (PLC) average of 1-2 years. Due to the enormous pace at which the technology is advancing both on the hardware and the software sides, the product becomes obsolete within 2 years, which typically defines the PLC. Now with the similar pressure to digitize the car and thereby adding new features to connected vehicles, the average car lifecycle (5-8 years) will also adapt to the technology lifecycle (1-2 years), thus marking a significant drop.

So now, what will be the impact of such a change of PLC on the automotive landscape? It will have multitude of impacts at various level, for the different stakeholders as well as the environment. Let us analyse them one by one.

  • From a consumer’s perspective, the change might result in renting, leasing rather than go for a purchase (Since with a shorter PLC, it makes more sense to just use it for a year and so and move to the next model with more features rather than owning and selling – as typically there is a significant depreciation of an average car for first 1-2 years which will even go higher when the technology shifts very fast).
  • From Dealership model of selling cars, the shift might result in renting model companies, where these companies will be owners of the vehicle and will be renting out (Short term lease model). Such business model will require strong hand holding from the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), as the vehicle owned by these renting dealerships need to be capitalized between them and the OEMs.
  • From the OEM’s perspective, the focus will be on absorbing the obsolete vehicles from the market to make more space for the new vehicles.
  • From an environment perspective, it is beneficial as the OEMs are taking in the old vehicles and will try to reuse the components as much as possible thus creating a huge opportunity for recycling.

Now it is only a matter of time that connected car will be a significant part of IoT. When that happens, it will be really interesting to see whether the car owners will need to find new ways to finance their vehicles (New financial instruments) or the industry will adopt to a different business model as mentioned above. Only time will tell.

(The article is written by Rudra Raj Hazra. He is automotive professional, a market analyst & commenter.)