From consumers’ perspective, one key benefit of launching petrol-powered Safari, Harrier will be reduced starting price
With most rivals offering both diesel and petrol powertrain options, there’s a general perception that Tata Motors may be compelled to launch petrol option for Safari and Harrier. Last month in August, speculations were rife that Safari and Harrier will be getting a petrol engine option along with other updates.
However, Tata Motors launched Jet Editions of Harrier, Safari and Nexon, focusing on cosmetic changes, improved in-cabin experience and some safety upgrades. Even then, it was felt that Safari and Harrier could still get petrol option, probably in the next update. But now, a key official has revealed that Tata Motors is not too keen to launch petrol variants for Safari and Harrier.
Petrol-powered Safari, Harrier Launch Unlikely
Tata Motors Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Customer Care, Rajan Amba said that introducing petrol-powered Safari and Harrier is currently not a priority for the company. He pointed out that the diesel motor offers good drivability and meets expectations that users have from an SUV. As Safari and Harrier are already quite popular, the company may not feel the need to introduce petrol versions of these SUVs.
Sales data speaks for itself, as Harrier is currently the second bestselling vehicle in mid-size SUV / UV segment. Top selling is Mahindra XUV700, but the combo of Harrier + Safari sales is still pretty close. And XUV700’s popularity cannot be attributed solely to the fact that it offers both diesel and petrol engine options. XUV700 gained prominence with its wide range of best-in-class and segment-first features including ADAS as well as 5-star Global NCAP safety rating.
In the context of updating Safari and Harrier, Tata Motors is likely to focus on introducing more features for these SUVs. Things like larger touchscreen, 360 degree camera and ADAS features could deliver better results in comparison to just adding a petrol option. The latter will be desirable for folks who are looking at an affordable version of Safari and Harrier.
Focus on EVs
To prepare itself for the future, Tata Motors is stepping up focus on EV segment. While Nexon EV is already a bestseller, the company will launch Tiago EV in a few days. Tiago EV is slated to become the most affordable electric car in the country, priced in the range of Rs 9 lakh to Rs 13 lakh. It is expected to use the same platform as that of Tigor EV. Range is expected to be around 300 km.
Later, Tata Motors will be expanding its EV portfolio to include Curvv electric SUV coupe. A premium product, Tata Curvv is expected to offer range of 500 km. It will take around 2 years to get Curvv EV to production stage. Curvv will be positioned above Nexon EV and utilize an entirely new platform. It is likely that Curvv will also have petrol and diesel versions.
Beyond Curvv, a new era will dawn in the form of Tata’s born-electric range. These new EVs will be based on Avinya concept electric car that was unveiled earlier this year in April. The production version is expected to be launched sometime in early 2025.