Launched in 1998, Tata Safari was once a popular choice in the country. Over the years, the mid-sized SUV has undergone various iterations and the current generation is sold under ‘Storme’ brand.
In a significant development, Team-BHP reveal that Tata Motors has stopped production of Storme. This essentially indicates that the SUV is officially discontinued. An official statement could be issued by the company in the coming months. Or like in the case of Nano, Tata may never confirm that the Safari is discontinued.
Tata dealerships are currently in the process of clearing out existing inventory of Storme. Dealerships are not accepting new orders and some have even stopped offering test drives to customers. All these factors substantiate the potential likelihood of Storme being discontinued.
Tata Safari Storme was showcased for the first time at 2012 Auto Expo and launched in October 2012. It’s quite a good looking and powerful SUV, but current sales are far below desirable levels. In October 2019, Tata Safari was ranked at 25th place in the list of top 30 bestselling SUVs. A total of 165 units were sold, which is negative YoY growth of -74.30%. However, MoM sales had improved by 108.86%. In 2019, monthly average sales of Safari Storme has been about 100 units.
With limited future potential and increased competition from new rivals, Safari Storme appears to have reached its expiry date. Moreover, recent trends indicate that customers are more interested in buying new cars. Tata has also launched new products such as Harrier, and have announced plans to launch new SUVs like Gravitas, Blackbird, etc – so continuing Storme does not make sense. Upgrade to BS-VI emission norms could be another reason for discontinuing Storme.
Tata Safari Storme is powered by a 2.2-litre, 16-Valve DOHC engine, which comes in two states of tune. In LX and EX variants, the engine churns out max power of 148 hp @ 4000 rpm and max torque of 320 Nm @ 1500-3000 rpm. For VX and VX 4×4 variants, the engine makes 154 hp / 400 Nm. LX and EX variants have 5-speed manual whereas VX and VX 4×4 use 6-speed manual transmission.
Other key features include 6-speaker infotainment system by Harman, multi-function steering wheel, electrically foldable and heated ORVMs, and rear AC vents. In terms of safety, Storme offers dual-airbags, ABS with EBD, engine immobilizer, seat belt warning, door open warning, ultrasonic reverse parking system with graphical display and side impact bars.