Tata Motors celebrated the silver jubilee of its market-leading light commercial vehicle, the Tata 407. Launched in 1986, the Tata 407 family clocks 7 out of every 10 vehicles sold in the category with a close to 75 pc market share. About 55pc of its owners are first-time users, indicating the self-employment it generates, a goal pursued by the Tata Group and Tata Motors.
Recollecting the introduction and progress of the Tata 407, P.M. Telang, Tata Motors’ Managing Director – India Operations, said, “The Tata 407 was among the first, cutting across industries, to have demonstrated the supremacy of indigenously developed products in the face of international competition. We are grateful to our customers who have acknowledged our understanding of their needs and our engineering capabilities. We will continue to add new features to the range matching customer requirements.”
Ravi Pisharody, President – Commercial Vehicles Business Unit, said, “The Tata 407 is exemplary in how a platform can be deployed to meet diverse needs. It today addresses a wide range of goods transportation and people movement solutions, industrial and defence applications in India and about 15 other countries in South Asia and Africa.”
Available both in diesel and CNG options and tonnage ranging from 2.2 to 4.2 tonnes payload, the Tata 407 goods transportation portfolio has been expanded to comprise trucks, tippers, pick-ups and vehicles for agri/food products, construction, light mining and a whole host of services. The portfolio has been regularly upgraded, based on the company’s own R&D and customer feedback on operating economy, cabin convenience and safety.
The Tata 407 also spawned the company’s Cityride fully built buses in 12-to-24 seat variants, popular in applications for school, staff transportation and feeder bus service. Following the company’s joint venture with Marcopolo of Brazil in 2006, the platform was included in the Starbus range as a 24-seat variant and 12-to-18 seat luxury variants. The buses too are available in both diesel and CNG options.
Among the major variants in goods transportation is the SFC 407EX TURBO. The vehicle offers a host of applications for industrial use, agricultural produce, dairy products, courier and parcel services, with high fuel efficiency and commensurate payload capacity.
The tipper variants include the LPK 407 for applications in construction and light mining industries and the SK 407 for sand movement, quarry application, laterite-stone transportation and construction material freight.
The EX-2 Refresh Series took operating economy to a new high with longer service interval and heavy-duty load body. Power steering with upgraded cabin features brought better safety and comfort.
Most recently, in 2009, the 407 Pick-up was introduced which has the shortest overall length, smallest turning circle but with the largest loading area and highest payload in the category, ideal for applications in rural and urban areas.
The CNG fuel option too was introduced in 2009 to help customers leverage the expanding CNG fuel distribution network in the country, and last year saw the introduction of the Common Rail BS 4 compliant diesel engine, coupled with further refinements in the drive train .
Since launch, the Tata 407 has sold over 500,000 units. Tata Motors will continue to introduce new features in the engine, exteriors and interiors, addressing emerging needs and thereby strengthening the Tata 407’s salience among customers.