Tata Motors is forging ahead with plans to develop a new petrol powertrain for its premium SUVs, Harrier and Safari, currently equipped with a robust 2-liter diesel engine.
In an interaction with PTI, Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles Managing Director Shailesh Chandra emphasized that the company is actively working on this new petrol engine, earmarked for the Harrier and Safari models. The decision to move into the petrol-powered domain stems from recognizing the potential for a robust market shift. According to Chandra, their primary focus had been on diesel powertrains. Approximately 80% of the SUV market, with an annual volume of around 2 lakh units, leaned heavily towards diesel. The demand for diesel vehicles was largely driven by the superior torque performance they offered, as Chandra highlighted.
However, Tata Motors is astutely looking towards the future, and in doing so, they understand the importance of offering a petrol engine. The market dynamics are evolving, and customer preferences are also changing. To stay ahead in the game, Tata Motors has committed to the development of a 1.5-liter Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engine. While this initiative is a work in progress, Chandra explained the need for comprehensive development and integration with the existing product lineup.
In addition to the development of the petrol engine itself, Tata Motors is gearing up to expand its production capabilities. According to Chandra, they’re working diligently on increasing their capacities. While the transition towards a petrol engine might still be on the horizon, it is undoubtedly in the pipeline. The latest rollout of updated versions of Harrier and Safari, with their respective starting prices at Rs 15.49 lakh and Rs 16.19 lakh, is a testament to Tata Motors’ commitment to staying competitive and innovative in the SUV segment. Both Harrier and Safari have received top safety ratings from the vehicle safety group Global NCAP, showcasing Tata Motors’ dedication to providing safe and reliable vehicles.
In conclusion, Tata Motors’ endeavor to introduce a new petrol engine for its premium SUVs reflects a proactive approach to the evolving automobile market in India. While diesel engines have been dominant in the past, Tata Motors recognizes the need to adapt to changing customer preferences and environmental considerations. This move towards a 1.5-liter GDI engine signifies their commitment to offering a diverse product range that meets the varying demands of Indian consumers.