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Tata Ace
Tataintroace.jpg
Manufacturer Tata Motors
Production 2005–present
Assembly Pune, India
Uttarkhand, India
Class mini truck
Body style(s) pickup truck
Engine(s) 0.7 L diesel I2

The Tata Ace is a mini-truck (similar to Japanese Kei truck) launched in May 2005 by Tata Motors in India. It is in competition with the prevalent three-wheeled goods carriers from Bajaj Auto, Piaggio, Mahindra and Force Motors.

Contents

History

In December 2000 Girish Wagh was called by Ravi Kant, Managing Director, Tata Motors, to create a new line that went beyond Tata's current truck offering. A vehicle that was cheap enough to take on the three wheel cargo rickshaws in the country.[1] Based on this brief Wagh decided to approach users of current three wheel cargo rickshaws and get their feed back on a future four wheel cargo vehicle. The persons who were interviewed all wanted a cheap vehicle that could take a certain amount of produce or products from village to market. However when asked why they would prefer a four wheeler as compared to their current three wheeler, one rickshaw user told Wagh "If I had a four-wheeler, I would have better marriage prospects in my village,"[1]. This meant that besides the normal use of carrying cargo around, the future customer also expected a certain amount of prestige in owning and running a four wheeler cargo vehicle.

Recently Tata motors got an order from the US Dept of post to manufacture electric Tata Ace post vans for them. From January 2009 onwards, all-electric Tata Ace will be sold through Chrysler's Global Electric Motorcars division.[2]

Launch and reaction

Tata Motors launched the Ace truck in May 2005 for just above Rs 2 lakhs. The new vehicle was a big hit selling 100,000 in just 20 months.[1] Currently this truck is only offered in a single colour, white, to save time in the paint shop. Tata is building a new factory that will be able to turn out 250,000 a year starting this month.[1]

New segment

Tata Ace has created a new mini segment in India. Priced between 2.25 to 2.35 lakhs INR, the company aims to convert three wheeler users to 4 wheelers. One of the idea that has made the launch of this vehicle might be that the government policy in India not to allow HMVs (that are categorized by vehicles weighing above 3 tonnes) to enter cities after 7 p.m. to reduce traffic jams and pollution. TATA has found the gap in the market and released Ace. The 700 cc engine delivers a power of 16 hp (12 kW) at 3200 rpm and a torque of 3.8 m·kgf (37 N·m at 2000 rpm gives a tough competition to Piaggio's mini truck (3-wheeler). It has a permissible loading capacity of 750 kg (1650 lb). It also has a modern cabin compared to its three wheeler rivals. It is best suited for use by villagers in carrying goods over short distances. The project was headed and executed by Girish Wagh.

Manufacturing locations

The mini truck is produced at the facility in Pune works, Tata Motors. A new facility is coming up in Pant Nagar, Uttarkhand as well. The Tata Ace succeeded in creating an entirely new segment that competitors are known to be working on different models to compete against the Tata Ace.

Tata Magic

In June 2007 Tata Motors launched the passenger variant of the Ace, named Magic. The Magic is the passenger version of the Ace mini-truck, the new Magic features an all-steel cabin. It offers a flexible seating capacity of 4-7 passengers with adequate legroom. Powered by a 16 bhp (12 kW), 700 cc water-cooled diesel engine, the Magic offers high fuel efficiency and very low maintenance. The 12-inch tyres provide higher ground clearance, and the rigid front axle is designed to handle tough roads. The Magic's turning radius of 4.3 metres (14.1 ft) is nimble enough to navigate the bylanes and traffic of India's crowded cities. The Magic has a clearly visible instrument cluster, utility tray and a digital clock in the dashboard and also a provision for fitting a radio.

The Magic meets BS-III emission norms and has been developed for use in any market — be it urban, semi-urban or rural. It is backed by a 36,000 km/12-month warranty. The Magic range starts at Rs 2.60 lakh (ex-showroom, Pune). Tata Motors' two new vehicles, Magic and Winger, are expected to cater to the two ends of the taxi segment. The Winger, which is a sturdier and more refined product, will attempt to wrestle market share in the staff (ITES/ BPO employees) transportation segments, Hotel & Inter-urban Tourist segments, airport drop and pickup.

Both the Magic and the Winger are being launched nation-wide, starting with Maharashtra and Gujarat, after which availability will be extended to other parts of the country in a phased manner.

References

External links








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