Auto major Tata Motors expects the commercial vehicles industry to grow over 30 per cent in the next fiscal on the back of cyclical demand uptick and overall recovery of economic activity, according to a top company official.
The company, which on Thursday launched its latest range of intermediate and light commercial trucks (I&LCV) - the Ultra Sleek T-Series with price starting from Rs 13.99 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), is also seeking to cash in on the return of demand and enhance its market share in the segment.
“One can now say that the economic recovery is well and truly in place and we see the last quarter GDP growth has been positive. The same thing is expected this year. Next year also both the government and RBI have given projections that the GDP should grow in double digits," Tata Motors President Commercial Vehicle Business Unit, Girish Wagh told reporters in a virtual conference.
He said the commercial vehicles (CV) industry is very closely linked to the overall economic activity. “We do see that next year the CV industry should grow, do well and we should be getting into a cyclical upturn again after having two years of downturn."
Commenting specifically on the growth expectations for the upcoming fiscal, Wagh said, "Next year, therefore, we are looking at growth rate in the higher 30s, that's the kind of growth rate we are looking for the overall industry."
The domestic CV industry, which started to go on a slump from November 2018 due to increase in axle load norms, credit crunch and economic slowdown, coupled with BS-VI transition and the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, is now recovering gradually, he added.
From a decline of 90 per cent in the Q1, to a dip of 24 per cent in Q2 and a low single digit drop in Q3, the CV sales have picked up momentum, he said, adding that even in the Q4, month-on-month there has been growth in sales.
On the company's new Ultra Sleek T-Series, that has been designed and engineered to suit contemporary demands of urban transportation and available in three models – T.6, T.7 and T.9, he said these trucks are a new landmark in urban freight transportation due to sleeker design and enabling faster movement leading to higher utilisation and revenue with more trips.
While the T.6 is priced at Rs 13.99 lakh, the T.7 is tagged at Rs 15.29 lakh and T.9 comes at Rs 17.29 lakh (ex-showroom).
On the expectations from the new range, Wagh said the Ultra range of CV since its launch about three years ago has sold over 20,000 units with over 50 per cent market share in the I&LCV segment.
"We are certainly looking at garnering more market share," he added.
When asked about plans to export Ultra Sleek T-Series range, Wagh said, "We will certainly be looking at international markets. The Ultra brand is already present and sold in quite a few countries like Africa, ASAEN and SAARC. These are the markets where we are already selling the Ultra brand....We are certainly looking at some of the markets I mentioned to take the Ultra Sleek there and make a mark."
The Ultra Sleek T-Series range has been designed and developed to address the need of an emerging trend in the transportation industry, he added.
These trucks are equipped to cater to a wide variety of applications, such as transportation of e-commerce products, FMCG, industrial goods, LPG cylinders, and refrigerated containers for transportation of COVID-19 vaccine, pharmaceuticals as well as food items such as eggs, milk and fresh farm produce, Tata Motors said.