At the recent Geneva Auto Show Tata motors state their deepening view on the African car market.
The Tata booth at the International Motor Show in Geneva stands out, and that’s quite an accomplishment given it’s sitting next to the high-shine polish of an Aston Martin and the leggy models posing alongside Lamborghini’s station.
The Tata booth, like its automotive products, is scaled down. No glitz and no girls. Instead, India’s top vehicle maker by revenue has two cars of note on display: a concept electric Nano and the Aria, a crossover with the frame of a small SUV and the curvature of a Minivan. Neither are necessarily sexy or powerful — or any of the other Geneva Motor Show buzzwords….
“We’re expanding in our 16 markets outside of India,” said Abhay Deshpande, Tata’s deputy general manager, in charge of vehicle integration with the Nano. “The Middle East, Africa and southern Asia are all very strong.” When every other car manufacturer is drooling over the Chinese market, Mr. Deshpande says they’re expanding in Africa instead.
“We’re the number one brand in Ghana and have a strong market in South Africa and Senegal,” Mr. Deshpande said.
Tata also just launched in Nigeria and Tanzania. By focusing on growth outside the traditional markets of Europe, Asia and North America, Tata wants to build brand allegiance in these areas before they become mainstream….
That’s not to say they’re ignoring Europe and the U.S. “The Aria and Nano are good for Europe and I think they will work in America, too,” Mr. Deshpande said.
In the emerging markets, the Nano is priced at around $2,500.