Prices of the Indian-made Tata Xenon ute have been cut by thousands of dollars as the brand struggles to gain a foothold in the tough-fought Australian ute market.
The Tata Xenon ute range launched in October 2013, with prices for 4x2 models starting at $22,990 driveaway for the single-cab-chassis 4x2, $24,990 driveaway for the single-cab pick-up, and $26,990 driveaway for the dual-cab pick-up. Opting for 4x4 added $3000 to the price of each model.
But a slow start has seen the Indian company's Australian distributor, Fusion Automotive, drop prices of 2013-plate Xenons and introduce a range of end of financial year sales incentives that have seen prices drop by as much as $4000 on some models.
The company is offering cash-back incentives of $1000 on single-cabs, $1500 on 4x2 dual-cabs and $2000 on 4x4 dual-cabs that are valid until June 30.
The 2013-plate line-up now starts at $21,990 driveaway for the 4x2 single-cab-chassis (currently advertised at $19,990 driveaway) $21,990 driveaway for the 4x2 single-cab pick-up ($20,990 after cash-back), and $24,990 driveaway for the 4x2 dual-cab pick-up ($23,490 with cash-back).
The Xenon 4x4 models have followed suit with similar price drops, with the single-cab-chassis and the single-cab pick-up now priced identically at $23,990 driveaway ($22,990 after cash-back), and the dual-cab pick-up now $27,990 ($25,990 after cash-back).
Fusion Automotive managing director Darren Bowler told CarAdvice the move to offer better value utes is part of a broader campaign to get the Tata name out there.
"We're going pretty hard," Bowler said. "We're on TV, radio, billboards at the moment, and we're trying to create some brand awareness out there in the market.
"Pricing seems to be the key here. We've hit the nail on the head with the pricing of the 2013 models after the cash-back."
When asked if the discounted prices are set to stick around until after the June 30 deadline, Bowler indicated there was a chance. But the company is expecting to introduce an updated Xenon line-up in August which will be fitted with potentially life-saving electronic stability control that will "see the prices change".
The addition of ESC to the Xenon ute is expected to see it improve on its disappointing two-star ANCAP crash test score.
Tata's new prices bring its ute offerings closer to Chinese brand Great Wall Motors, which has long been one of the most aggressively priced commercial vehicle offerings on the market.