Written by Vihaan Bagga, a grade 7 student
Tatas, or The Tata Group, is one of the largest multinational houses in the country with interests ranging from hotels to aviation, from education to cars. Established in 1868, it is the largest and one of the most profitable companies in India. It has products and services in more than 150 countries.
Who founded it?
Tata group was founded in 1868 by Jamshedji Tata in Mumbai (then called Bombay). Jamshedji is called the “Father of Indian Industry”. He also established the city of Jamshedpur, also called Tatanagar. It’s the largest city in Jharkhand.
Tata also makes cars and is probably one of the very few companies outside of the US to make cars in such large numbers. Today, Tata is in a league of its own in India when it comes to manufacturing Electric Vehicles – Tata Nexon EV, formally introduced on January 28, 2020, has defied market trends with strong growth in sales.
The rise of electric vehicles
In India, in 2022, Tata Motors is considered a reliable and affordable homegrown brand. It is also the company that introduced one of the best and most affordable cars in the Electric Vehicles (EV) segment – Tata Nexon in the year 2020.
But wait a second, I am sure you all know about Morris Garages Motors (MG), a British-owned Chinese automotive company. MG had introduced the MG ZS EV way before Tata in 2019 whereas Tata launched Nexon (EV) in 2020. Now, MG ZS EV was a superb car with a range of 461 km but how did it get beaten by Tata Nexon, which has a range of 312 km only. Tata Nexon was also able to take over the market share of Hyundai Kona. MG ZS and Hyundai Kona, both have way more features than Tata Nexon. Both the cars also have a higher range than Nexon. (Keep in mind we are talking about 2020 and 2021 Tata Nexon, not Nexon Max. The Nexon Max will come after some time.). So how does Tata Motors have a 96.26% share in the EV market, and companies like Hyundai and MG have so little to no market share?
Tata Motor’s dominance in the Indian EV market
EV segment was introduced to tackle climate change. Electric vehicles grew rapidly in India and the world. This growth has been possible due to mass market companies such as Tata Motors and Hyundai. India has an extremely cost-conscious population. They want cars that are affordable and at the same time feature-loaded such as Kia Sonnet or Maruti Baleno. For the past two years, Tata Motors has been developing a range of affordable commercial EVs. They started the manufacturing of EVs not only to catch up but also to get ahead of its competitors such as Hyundai and MG. Indian consumers needed a car that could run above 300 km in a single charge and should have been priced at 6 lakhs to 14 lakhs.
This was the criteria that Tata Motors nailed! Tata Motors launched Nexon in January 2020. Since then, it has captured the bulk of the market share in the EV segment. This car checks out all the criteria needed for an Indian car buyer — good range and a good price. Following this, Tata Motors launched Tata Nexon Max in May 2022. Nexon Max offers a higher range and a 40kWh battery approx. It offers some great features like ventilated seats and cruise control at just 17 lakhs. It also offers a 7.2 kW fast charger at home. Getting so much at a price that is less compared to Kona and ZS ev.
Hyundai and MG’s flaws in the Indian EV market
Hyundai Kona was launched in July 2019. It was one of the most sophisticated cars that were launched in the EV segment. It was way overpriced. It did not fit the crucial category of the price which led to its immediate failure. Its sales were just 50 units in April 2022. Kona’s top model’s price is 23 to 24 lakhs which, let me tell you, is still cheap compared to MG’s ZS EV.
Now let’s talk a bit about the first commercial EV of India, the MG ZS EV. The sales of this car in 2020 were disappointing. If we look year on year, it has improved but the monthly sales have declined completely. From November 2021 to April 2022 the company has not even sold a single unit. It is one of the costliest cars in the so-called affordable segment. Its prices range from 21 to 26 lakhs. Another reason is that MG is a Chinese brand and we all know about Indo-Chinese relations. As a result, car sales have plummeted. Let me give you an example, MG Gloster was the car that rivalled Toyota Fortuner. It was reaching Fortuner’s sales but when India-China border disputes happened the sales crashed. This is a huge factor that has hit MGS monthly sales. MG and Hyundai do have their own manufacturing plants in India but even then, they outsource most of their parts from various OEMs.
Taking advantage of its resources
Tata Motors is a part of the larger Tata Group which has many different brands working under it. Tata has strengthened the charging infrastructure in India which is making people buy more Tata EVs. It has collaborated with Tata Power to set up EV charging solutions for the home, workplace, and public charging areas. For example, Tata Power, till now, has installed about 1,000 EV charging stations in 180 cities across India. Tata Nexon EV sold anywhere in the country comes with a free home-charging solution!
Development and manufacturing of cells is a task undertaken by another Tata subsidiary, Tata Chemicals. Tata Chemicals is also the technical partner for establishing Lithium-Ion batteries manufacturing plant and are also looking at setting up a plant to recycle these same batteries.
Tata auto components provide electronics and other equipment for the production of EVs. Tata Finance also helps customers with attractive finance schemes to buy Tata EVs.
Tata Group owns the finest brand of cars – Jaguar and Land Rover. They can also use Jaguar and Land rover’s electrification expertise and platforms. to make the best affordable EVs.
This ecosystem of Tata Universe group companies is working together to provide Tata Motors with the best of services for their EV products.
Future of electric segment and Tata in it
Now, what is the future of the electric segment in India? Kia and Mahindra are going to enter the EV market with a wide range of products. Tata Motors too is preparing to launch some noteworthy products in the EV segment. Hyundai as well is planning to launch some vibrant products and MG is going to launch some budgeted products. Kia will enter the market with the EV6 on May 26 of 2022. The car would be able to cover 500 km on a single charge. Now one drawback for Kia EV 6 would be that it is going to be heavily priced — somewhere between 1 to 1.2 CR. This car will be imported due to which the prices will shoot up. Mahindra will launch the electric model of XUV 300.
Tata Motors is planning to launch the AVINYA – a concept car. This car’s distance range would be 500 km within a price range of 30 to 40 lakhs, that’s a lot to offer to the consumer. CURVV by Tata will also be launched anywhere between 2023 to 2024. Hyundai will be launching the IONIQ 5 in India in the coming months of 2022 and MG is going to launch the E230 which is like a repeat of nano but in the EV segment. This would be a budget car starting from 10 lakhs. This would be an exciting space to watch.
In the end, I would just like to conclude that Tata is the front runner in India’s electric vehicle chapter. Tata and its group of companies are co-developing the ecosystem by making the products available to all Indian automotive customers through rapid localization.
Feel passionately about a topic or industry? You can submit your story here.
Hindi DriveSpark, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons