MANILA (UPDATE) – Indian automotive brand Tata Motors, in partnership with its local distributor Pilipinas Taj Autogroup, will introduce diesel-powered vehicles in the country this year.
Pilipinas Taj Autogroup general manager Nicky Mariano said four new fuel-efficient models will be launched in July.
These diesel-based cars are the Indigo sedan, Indica hatchback, Manza sedan, and Vista hatchback.
"We're quite excited with the diesel models because there's not much available in this price range, it's quite affordable," Mariano said in a press briefing on Tuesday.
The prices for the new models range from P550,000 to P750,000.
(Users of the ABS-CBN News mobile app can view this slideshow via an Internet browser.)
Pilipinas Taj, a 100 percent Filipino-owned firm, made an initial investment of P100 million to bring in Tata Motors to Philippines.
“We believe that the current lineup that they have is very much applicable to our environment in our country,” said Mariano, noting that the main selling point of Tata Motors is the diesel engine and its durability.
“The diesel, and they are quite strong in the commercial vehicle segment and the models that they have fit our requirements of better emission, hindi nagba-black smoke. We were addressing all those issues that the market wants. They want a durable, diesel vehicle for business and conforms with emission regulation," he added.
Tata Motors provides a diverse range of vehicles from sedans to fire trucks, army vehicles to service trucks and compact SUVs.
In April, Tata Motors officially made its entry to the Philippine market with the launch of petrol versions of the Manza and the Vista.
The Manza has a price tag of P600,000 while the Vista costs P565,000.
Pilipinas Taj has also brought in Xenon pick-up trucks (P805,000) and mini trucks Ace (P345,000) and SuperAce (P600,000) for its commercial vehicle line.
According to Mariano, the mini-trucks are aimed for small and medium enterprises and fleet buyers.
Tata Motors is known for manufacturing the “world’s cheapest car,” the Tata Nano, which is being sold in India for about P100,000.
Mariano said Pilipinas Taj is still studying if it will release a Philippine-version of the Nano in its next generation of models.
“Right now it’s only available in right-hand drive, and only India is selling that model,” he said.
Pilipinas Taj has showrooms in Marcos Highway, Cainta, and Davao.
Mariano said it will open one showroom in Cagayan province and another in Metro Manila by August.
Two more showrooms will be opened by yearend.
"We don't want to limit ourselves. Bear in mind that the brand is new and the Philippine market is totally unaware. We want to introduce the brand first," said Mariano.
The commercial and passenger vehicles of Tata Motors have markets in Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia, and South America.
In 2008, Tata Motors acquired Jaguar Land Rover from Ford.