Our current SUV market share is 9.6%: Vivek Srivatsa, Tata Motors

Commencing the New Year with a bang, Tata Motors has relaunched its iconic brand ‘Safari ’with its forthcoming flagship SUV, (codenamed as the Gravitas). Tata Safari introduced India to the SUV lifestyle, and glamourised the segment in India for other players to follow. For over two decades, Safari has represented prestige and performance, and in its new avatar, the Safari will carry forward this rich idea and its strong legacy. In its new avatar, the Safari will appeal to the socially active, fun loving customers who seek out unique experiences and adventure. Its design, performance, versatility, features, and long-lasting build quality, reinforce the SUV lifestyle to provide unending pleasure.

It encourages customers to ‘Reclaim their Life’ with its powerful stance, unmatched performance, effortless drivability, luxurious comfort, spacious interiors and new age connected technology, which make it ideal for both daily commute as well as an exciting family getaway.

Speaking to Adgully in an exclusive interview Vivek Srivatsa, Head - Marketing, PVBU, Tata Motors, spoke in depth about their plans and explained their approach and strategy to make this vehicle as the most preferred brand in the SUV category.

What is so unique and so different about the new-look Safari? What’s going to be the price on the road?

The all new ‘Tata Safari’ draws a strong inspiration from the Safari lineage and builds on its pedigree of impeccable stance, spacious interiors, comfort, performance and robust build quality, which have all been carried forward and duly enhanced in the new Safari. An arresting design, unparalleled versatility, plush and comfortable interiors, and powerful performance of the Safari perfectly cater to the modern, multifaceted lifestyle of the new age SUV customers and their desire for the perfect combination of prestige and sophistication along with expression and thrill.

The Safari is extremely versatile, delivering great comfort and assurance, be it intra city commute, expressway cruising or the un-explored paths in the hinterland. With a powerful 2.0 litre turbocharged Kyrotech engine and its 2741 mm wheelbase, the Safari will come with signature Oyster White Interiors, paired with the Ashwood finish dashboard, a majestic panoramic sunroof, along with 6 and 7-seater options, and an 8.8-inch floating island infotainment system. Furthermore, the vehicle will be available in additional colour options of Daytona Grey, Tropical Mist and Orcus White along with the signature Royal Blue.

The Safari sure does give the executive customers a living room style ride experience. We have also launched the ‘Adventure’ persona of the Safari with an expressive and rugged look offering more options for customers to select the SUV that best matches their personality.

The new Safari is now available for purchase at nearest Tata Motors dealership at a starting price of Rs 14.69 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) for the 6/7 seater.

Is this new Safari not the same as the seven-seater Tata Harrier? So, how do you plan to differentiate in the market where there are other competitors like Hyundai, who is planning to launch their seven-seat Creta soon? How have you positioned the all-new Safari? Will you still stick to your earlier positioning of ‘Reclaim your life’?

While both products, Harrier and Safari, are developed on the OMEGARC architecture and designed with the Impact 2.0 Design philosophy, they have been designed keeping two very different customers in mind. Harrier has a distinctly sportier character that is underlined by its almost coupe like roofline. With its aggressive design, and a stance that is less upright, Harrier is geared to appeal to a younger audience. The Harrier also carries sportier finishes such as the High Gloss Piano Black to emphasise the sporty intent. The colours of Calypso Red, Atlas Black and Camo Green further add to the bold looks of Harrier.

The Safari, on the other hand, with a unique and domineering stance has been enhanced in its new avatar and key areas like the elegant grille, the unmistakable stepped roof and the imposing tailgate have been given ultra-premium finishes. Sculpted impeccably with an uncompromised strong stance, imposing wheel arches and a careful accenting of chrome gives the new Safari a jewel-like appearance. It is designed for a more mature and evolved SUV customer with its dominating SUV stance and majestic road presence.

The Safari has always stood as an enabler for people to break away from the rigours of the daily routine and set out to create moments in life that truly matter to them. With the changing times, the SUV customer has also evolved and so have his aspirations. With the professional lives becoming even more demanding, especially with the pandemic in recent times, the SUV customers are looking to break free from the hectic lives to head outdoors and create memories with their loved ones. The Safari continues to nudge the SUV customer, with the message – ‘Reclaim Your Life’. With this message, we will continue to engage with customers through digital and other mediums and bring our New Forever range of cars along with Safari in their consideration set.

Where do you expect your sales to come for the new Safari? Is it from the main metros or the smaller towns? And what kind of numbers are you targeting in the next 12 months?

We have received an encouraging response in terms of bookings when it comes to all new Safari so far. We are getting enquiries not only from main metro cities, but also smaller towns. SUVs is the fastest growing passenger vehicle segment in the country and the new Safari will accelerate the momentum gained by the company’s consistently growing SUV sales, which have resulted in a growth of 20% YTD when compared to the same period last year. Tata Motors’ SUV portfolio is young and ticks all the right boxes in terms of styling, performance, comfort & convenience and safety, appealing to the discerning Indian customers. Our current SUV market share is 9.6%. With the Safari launch and upcoming sub-compact SUV, code named Hornbill, we are aiming to offer the widest range of SUVs to cater to the growing demand and we will aim at achieving double digit market share in SUV segment.

Could you define the target audience for this vehicle with the demographic profile? Will this audience be first time buyers or they are likely to upgrade their current vehicle?

Designed and developed to appeal a customer group who are socially active, fun loving and seek out unique experiences and adventure, the new Safari has evolved to satisfy the new age SUV customers, who demand striking design, unparalleled versatility, plush and comfortable interiors, outstanding performance for a modern, multifaceted lifestyle and prefer to drive together for work or leisure. It encourages customers to ‘Reclaim their Life’ with its powerful stance, unmatched performance, effortless drivability, luxurious comfort, spacious interiors and new age connected technology, which make it ideal for both daily commute as well as for  exciting weekend getaways with family and friends. These set of customers will also be the ones who are looking for their second car.

How do you plan to promote the new Safari? What kind of media strategy are you likely to explore to generate awareness and visibility for the brand?

Tata Safari is our new flagship and we will be present across media platforms where our buyers are present. After the pandemic, we have focused more on digital mediums as people are spending more time on their mobile device screens. In terms of the consumer buying journey, we have enabled Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality platforms so that the customer can really discover the product and engage with new products online from the comfort of their living rooms.

Going forward in terms of media mix, we will prominently be present on TV and OTT platforms. Our partnership with IPL has been very successful and we will continue to partner with the League this year as well. Additionally, we will also continue with our spends on OOH advertising.


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