Tata Motors, India's largest car manufacturer, is set to preview its first vehicle for sale in Australia at the National 4x4 & Outdoors Show in Melbourne at the end of this month.
The car maker will display its Xenon ute alongside four-wheel drives from Holden, Isuzu, Jeep, Nissan and Suzuki. Tata will also display a new 4x4 concept for the first time in public, potentially previewing a future model set to join the Xenon for local sale.
Tata says the show will be the perfect setting for its Australian debut, as the crowd will be filled with dedicated off-road enthusiasts. For those that do express interest in the Xenon, test rides will be available on site.
Once operational, Tata will offer a range of light-commercial vehicles in Australia, all featuring Euro V-compliant turbo-diesel engines, and coming in either 4x2 or 4x4 configurations as single- and crew-cab variants.
Tata will be sold in Australia through independent distributor Fusion Automotive. Managing director Darren Bowler expects Tata to succeed “because of the brand’s unique position of value, safety and strength”.
“Tata Motors’ products are built to cater to the toughest of environments and are tested in some of the harshest conditions on the planet," Bowler said.
"Here is a product that is ready-made for Australian customers and conditions, whether they’re driving on the road with the family, towing the caravan or boat, working on a trade site or are in a remote location in the harshest of mining conditions.”
Unlike Chinese ute-maker Great Wall, Fusion Automotive will not position Tata vehicles as budget-priced options. Rather, local marketing will focus upon the durability and strength of Tata’s cars, with their safety and value benefits also being identified.
In the 2012-2013 year, Tata claimed a revenue of US$34.7 billion ($38.9 billion). The Indian manufacturer is now the world’s fourth-largest truck and bus manufacturer, and has helped grow Jaguar Land Rover to record-levels after Ford offset the group in 2008.
Tata vehicles will go on sale this October through a network of 13 dealers, with the aim of growing that number to 25 by the end of 2014.