After We Pushed For Safety, The Entire Industry Started Talking About it: Vivek Srivatsa, Tata Motors

We have introduced 6 airbags in our cars and all our cars will be ready with these 6 airbag regulation well ahead of what the government timelines are, says Vivek Srivatsa, Head, Marketing, Sales and Service Strategy, Tata Passenger Electric Mobility

Vivek Srivatsa, Head, Marketing, Sales and Service Strategy, Tata Passenger Electric Mobility

Tata Motors unveiled almost 14 futuristic vehicles at the Auto Expo 2023 and aspires to be net-zero by 2040 for passenger vehicle business. Our Editorial Lead, Utkarsh Agarwal spoke to Vivek Srivatsa, Head, Marketing, Sales and Service Strategy, Tata Passenger Electric Mobility at the Auto Expo to know about the company's plans and strategy, read the excerpt below: -

Q. What's the strategy behind Tata unveiling 14 vehicles here at the Auto Expo, including the commercial and passenger vehicles?

The theme at the auto export this year is ‘Moving India Forward’ towards a safer, smarter and greener future.Obviously, Tata Motors has been moving the country forward for many many years & decades. But this year is very special because firstly, you know safety has been one of our priorities. We have been making the safest cars in the country for quite a long time now and after we pushed safety, the entire industry started talking about safety. So, around safety we have a lot of showcases. You know our cars. We have many demonstrators where 6 airbags have been introduced in our cars.And all our cars will be ready with these 6 airbag regulations well ahead of what the government timelines are. Similarly in terms of smarter mobility, it's about how software is going to make cars safer and easier for customers to drive. So, some of our cars have been endowed with Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) softwares which is going to make cars more safer and much easier to drive over longer distances in the future. 

The third pillar is greener future, which is probably the most important one. Today sustainability is a big word and Tata Motors is firmly taking steps towards that. Here, our Chairman made an announcement that the Tata Group will be Net Zero by 2045 and Tata Passenger Vehicles has made a commitment that we will be Net Zero by 2040. So, clearly a road map is set towards a greener future. 

Zero emissions is the future, so talking about zero emissions electric vehicles are a big tool in terms of moving towards a zero emission future. Currently, the automobile industry contributes more than 18 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions in the world. And, if the automotive industry moves towards e-mobility faster these emissions will be reduced. 

On the back of that, we've launched several EVs. We have launched alternate fuels with CNG, which also has much lower emissions. We've upgraded our engines to Turbocharged Gasoline Direct Injection (TGDi) engines which are more gasoline direct inject engines which are more powerful at the same time, emit much lower emissions. So overall, it's a clear push towards a greener and more sustainable future. 

Q. Specifically talking about the passenger vehicles, Curvv, Sierra, Harrier EV, Avinya etc..some of them are production ready and some still at the concept stage. So going ahead in the year. What's the strategy and plan? Which car will we see first? 

So, Tata Avinya is the only concept vehicle. Rest all are production intent actually. So, what you see is almost what you will get. In terms of timelines, Tata Curvv ICE which is on display will be launched in 2024 but before the petrol version, the EV version will be launched again in 2024, Tata Avinya will be launched in late 2025, Tata Sierra EV also will be launched late 2025 and the Harrier EV will be launched in  late 2024.

Q. Here at the Auto Expo, many OEMs have unveiled Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFVs). So is Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles also planning something on these lines?

Currently, we have launched the CNG version. We had a big disruption with the dual cylinder option where our cars are CNG enabled without losing the boot space. Wherever you go for a CNG vehicle option, the entire book space is taken up by the additional CNG tank. But we have packaged the tank below the car’s body, so customers can go for alternative fuels without losing their boot space, so that's a firm step. I think this will become very very popular where we call it no compromise CNG. So, that is alternative fuel as far as CNG is concerned and on our commercial vehicles you've seen hydrogen but not so on the passenger vehicles (PVs). On the other side, we upgraded our gasoline engines. With TGDi the emission levels dramatically come down, so that's our solution for the customers. 

Q. What do you think the future lies ahead with - Electric Mobility, AFVs or Hybrid Vehicles? 

Every single manufacturer at the Auto Expo has unveiled electric vehicles. In fact, Electric Vehicle unveils have outnumbered ICE vehicles unveils at this Auto Expo, that's a clear sign that the future is definitely electric. It's only a matter of time before a further adoption happens.

Q. Also, the Government will be presenting the budget in the coming few days. So, what are the Tata Motors expectations from the budget? 

I think the current softeners for EVs in terms of tax - Road Tax Reduction, GST reduction are very important. The Government should continue to do that to encourage adoption of EVs. At the state government level, some subsidies are continuing, so, I’ll urge the state government to spark that demand using subsidies. Of course it's not a long term or a sustainable thing, but there are certain states where subsidies motivate customers to go for EVs and then after that the customers see the benefit and the market continues. So, these are the large things. 

We understand that state government subsidies are not sustainable but we expect the government to continue the support on GST and road tax. A strong push towards charging infrastructure from the government will help a lot, allowing fast local development of chargers, a much greener electricity generation plant, moving towards more greener energy sources will be useful as well.

Q. We're here almost after three years due to the pandemic, but the same situation can arise again in the future. So, how prepared do you think are we now?

I think we are much better prepared now. Pandemic was one of the events where for the first time we were experiencing a lot of such situations but now I think, both at the individual level, at the organisation level, at government level, preparation is much better, both mentally and in terms of processes, so it shouldn't worry us too much. In terms of supply chain also, companies have realised that a lot of options need to be open and agile working would be required. So I think even if disruptions happen, companies are in a much better situation to tackle them. 

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