Mumbai, November 8, 2012: The Tata Ace, India’s first min-truck introduced in May 2005, and the Tata Magic, its sister vehicle for passenger transportation introduced in June 2007, have together crossed the one-million sales mark in August 2012 -- 2,680 days from the start of production. Total sales, at the end of October 2012, were 10,59,135 – 997,133 in India and 62,002 abroad.
A massive success, the Ace/ Tata Magic family has created a whole new segment of four-wheel small commercial vehicles including a host of competitors who have entered the fray in recent years.
The Ace platform has thus far spawned about 10 main variants. Under the Ace itself are the Ace HT, Ace EX (with stop-start technology), Ace CNG, Super Ace (1 tonne) and the Ace Zip. The Ace Zip was introduced in 2012, a micro-truck with a payload of 600kg for deep penetration door-to-door goods movement. Under the Tata Magic are the Magic HT, Magic CNG and Magic Iris. The Magic Iris was launched in 2012 as a 3-4-seater four-wheel passenger carrier for improved comfort of commuters who depend on small auto-rickshaws for transportation. The platform also led to the launch of the Tata Venture in January 2011.
In addition, there have been a whole host of applications. These include tankers, dumper placers, cargo vans, mobile retail vans, café-on-wheels, high-lift cherry pickers, mobile hoardings, high security cash vans and taxi and school applications.
Currently, the Tata Ace / Magic family market share is 78 percent in the cargo segment and 79 percent in the passenger segment. As their sister vehicles, like the Zip and Iris, go into the hinterlands, Tata Motors expects to achieve the next million in about 36 months.
Given the Ace/Magic total sales of 214,483 units in 2011-12 (2011-12 industry sales: 892,349), every fourth commercial vehicle sold in India today is a Tata Ace/ Magic. In the process, it became India’s first one-lakh-per-year goods commercial vehicle in 2010. The same very year, the family’s fifth in the market, it crossed the half-a-million mark. The remaining half-a-million has come in the last two years.
To drive sales, Tata Motors has substantially increased its dealership network across the country. At present, about 1,346 showrooms sell the two vehicles; about 50 percent of the sales come from semi-urban and rural India, where the company is establishing a dedicated sales and marketing network.
Production capacity too has grown commensurately. The Ace, which rolled out in 2004-05 with a capacity of 30,000 units per year from the Pune plant, now is manufactured at a dedicated plant in Pantnagar (Uttarakhand) which has a capacity of 500,000 units per annum.
The Ace and Magic are also exported to 24 countries – Angola, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Congo, Djibouti, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Italy, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Photograph: Karl Slym, managing director of Tata Motors and Ravi Pisharody, executive director, Commercial Vehicle Business Unit, Tata Motors with an Ace.