At Excon 2k21, Tata Motors split its focus between improving performance and profitability. Ashish Bhatia and Prateek Pardeshi bring out the broader strategy behind the exhibits this year.

On the eve of Excon 2k21, Tata Motors’ leadership delved deep into its strategy behind the off-highway and Construction Equipment Vehicle (CEV) exhibits this year. Paying equal attention to performance leading to profitability for the operator, the company this year focused on offering a higher revenue generation through enhanced productivity, improved TAT, and enhanced driveability. To attain its objectives, special attention was paid to packing the products with features like powerful and reliable engines, fuel economy modes, platforms with a higher power-to-weight ratio, mature BSVI compliant systems, gear shift advisor, heavy-duty drivetrain with reliable aggregates including York axles, Black diamond pneumatic suspensions and the Hyva tipper systems. The relatively enhanced NVH level for the cabins will also enhance the ride. In terms of utility, the products boast 20 plus features explained by V Seethapathi, Vice President, M&HCV Product Line, Tata Motors Ltd. and Rajesh Kaul, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Commercial Vehicle Business Unit at Tata Motors Ltd. Averred Seethpathi and Kaul that the company would particularly focus on maintaining a leadership position in the Internet of Things (IoT) and connective services besides ensuring the safety of the vehicle and the fraternity.

The leadership drew attention to the Total Industry Volume (TIV) in the CE segment looking promising to set the context. Within the volumes, the Ready Mix Concrete (RMC) segment was cited as the fastest-growing segment with a growth of ~69 per cent attributed to the growth in real estate and infrastructure development projects. To meet the demand in its focus segments, Tata Motors lined up “enriched” variants of the Signa and the Prima range of trucks. The company showcased surface tippers including the Prima 2825.K, Signa 3525.TK Ultimaax 52WB, Signa 4825.TK 68WB, and the Signa 5530.S 4×2. For the mining and quarry, the company showcased the Prima 2830.K and the flagship Prima 3530.K. It showcased RMC on the Signa 2825.K Re-PTO, Prima 2830.K Re-PTO and the 3530.K Re-PTO as a coming-off age of cement mixers known to use a slave engine PTO unit for firing the auxiliaries.

The USP in the Prima range was an Articulated Tail Door (ATD) deemed as a gravity-defying tech addition to give the operator more precise control in steep gradients. This signals the enhanced efficiency of the master engine in itself and a trend that can be expected to sustain itself with higher power-to-weight ratio solutions hitting the market. The company highlighted enrichments like the suite of anti-fuel theft, Improved Current Generation Technology (ICGT) brakes, advanced telematics through ‘Fleet Edge’, engine braking and the Hill Start Assist (HSA) capabilities. The trucks also don a new instrument cluster that relays advanced driver information, self-diagnostic signalling and trip mileage. LED tail lamps, vertical exhaust with stainless steel heat shield procured from Jindal Stainless, and New Generation Technology (NGT) brakes also made the list. The latter, for example, offers higher tyre life and reduces the probability of tyre bursts as a direct bearing on the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). At Excon 2k21, the display also included the other mainstays like the Yodha pickup and the Ace HT+ at the lower end of the segment as last- and mid-mile solutions on offer.


Industry Talk

In an industry talk session, V Seethapathi, Vice President, M&HCV Product Line, Tata Motors Ltd. and Rajesh Kaul, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Commercial Vehicle Business Unit at Tata Motors Ltd. spoke to Ashish Bhatia on the share of off-highway and CEVs in the mix

Rajesh Kaul, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Commercial Vehicle Business Unit at Tata Motors Ltd.

Q. What is the growth potential in the pit to surface duty cycle vis-a-vis surface transportation?
Seethapathi: As far as deep mining trucks are considered, the entire industry is yet to evolve. This is a fast-growing segment now. To overcome these voids, Tata Motors is working closely with their partner Cummins to develop a high power engine ranging from 350-to 450 hp which is in the pipeline. As far as surface tipping is considered, where grade ability is less than 30 per cent, the industry is poised for growth and the industry has grown over 55 per cent over the last year.

Q. Are you looking at increasing diversification to other mine quarries to lessen your dependence on just coal mining? Do you see a direct bearing on revenues?
Kaul: We have products which suit every mining segment, be it granite and or bauxite etc. We have a sizable chunk of the market share there as well. To answer your question, we are well situated for diverse segments.

V Seethapathi, Vice President, M&HCV Product Line, Tata Motors Ltd.

Q. Is a higher torque also the growing requirement from customers in such a demanding segment?
Seethapathi: Absolutely! Customers are on the lookout for higher productivity levels. They expect to haul more. Given that there is a limitation of drivers and the skill sets required to drive these modern trucks, customers need higher efficiencies led by a higher power-to-weight ratio. This is resulting in an increase in trips for the given day. Thus tonnage/kilometre has moved northwards.
Kaul: Also, do look at torque on wheels rather than the torque of the engine. We need to think of the entire drivetrain as just increasing the power of the engine will cost us more in terms of financial and other parameters. Thus we need to get the right combination.

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