Tata Motors focused on safety, profit increased by 1000%: Chief Product Officer said – Trying not to have accidents; If it does, it will hurt less.

This is from the 2010s. Nothing good was going on for Tata Motors, the company that makes successful models like Indica, Safari and Sumo. Sales were declining, losses were increasing, the pace of product development was slow. Customers were upset with after sales service and poor quality. Models like Bolt and Zest were failing to attract the new age customers. This forced Tata to go back to the drawing board and revive its struggling business. Then came the year 2016, Tata was about to launch its new hatchback car Tiago. Just before the launch, the company hired Guenter Bachek as CEO and MD. It was from here that the comeback of Tata Motors started. The company worked on design, comfort, quality, service everything. After Tiago, the company launched models like Tigor and Nexon which were liked by the people. The company also launched its electric vehicles with Nexon EV. The company’s market share in 2016 was 13.1%, which has now increased to 39.1%. That means market share has increased by 26%. Due to these models, the profit of Tata Motors is also continuously increasing. Recently Tata Motors has also released its FY24 results. Tata Motors’ profit has increased by more than 1000% to Rs 31,807 crore in FY 2024. The profit in FY 2023 was Rs 2,689 crore. The Indian business of Tata Motors is now debt free. In such a situation, Dainik Bhaskar talked to Mohan Savarkar, Product Officer of Tata Motors, on matters like driverless car, AI, safety. He said that safety is the top priority in Tata’s car manufacturing parameters, that is why our vehicles get 5 stars in crash tests. Read his full interview… 1. What are the 5 parameters on the basis of which Tata develops its models, also give ranking? Tata prepares all its vehicles on these five parameters. But, their ranking is different according to the model, like – Technology should be kept at the top in Tata Harrier-Safari. At the same time, more weightage should be given to space and utilization in Tiago. 2. Tata cars perform well in NCAP crash tests. What is the reason for this? Tata has had a crash test lab since the time we didn’t even know how to make cars. We first created a crash test lab in 1997, then made our first car, Indica. From that time till today, every one of our vehicles is manufactured giving utmost importance to safety aspects. We have so many years of practice, so all our engineers have become experts in making safe cars. Because of this we do not face any problem in making a safe vehicle. It takes three to five years to make each car. From the time the vehicle is on the drawing board till the end, every aspect of safety passes through the hands of each of our engineers. Even when a computer system like CAE is adopted, the performance of the crash test is still checked on the computer itself. A physical model is not made unless it meets the company’s standards. When a physical model is made, it is also crash tested and engineers every time find out what could be better. In this way the vehicle is made good on safety parameters. After this the model is sent to GNCAP (Global Crash Test Agency) and BNCAP (Indian Crash Test Agency) for crash testing. After getting the rating in crash test, the car is launched in the market. Since 1997, a lot of progress has been made in the field of safety. Initially we used to do frontal crash test and see what happens when the car collides from the front. But, now many things have increased in it. 3. How many types of crash tests does Tata conduct? Safety provisions are made for both whether an elder person or a small child is sitting in the car… 4. What preparations are made to send a model for a crash test? In GNCAP and BNCAP, no separate preparation is done for sending the vehicle for crash test. Because, they randomly select any model included in the lineup and also seal it. Then that model is sent for crash test in the same condition. The agency asks a lot of questions when approached by the company. In these, information about variants, price and features etc. is sought. After this, they choose the variant with the least features for safety and it is crash tested. In Bharat NCAP (BNCAP), the variant with the least features is selected for crash test and according to that variant, the entire model is given a safety rating. This means that when the car comes in the market, all its variants will be sold with the same safety rating. 5. How does Tata Motors ensure that the design of its cars remains on top priority in terms of safety? Briefings are sent to our engineers that this vehicle has to be made safe and the definition of safety also keeps changing every time. Engineers are told what things should be given more attention in the coming years. Nowadays safety should be seen in three aspects. Tata’s upcoming vehicles will be developed on these three things only. 6. Where did the idea of ​​providing twin cylinder technology with CNG come from? How was this technique developed? How reliable are they for the customers? How much competition are Tata’s CNG models able to give to other brands? Whenever something new has to be introduced in any vehicle, we always try to solve some of the problems of our customers. Talking about CNG, earlier it was believed that CNG vehicles are only for taxis or can be driven only in the city and not outside. If we have to make CNG vehicles as flexible or useful as normal vehicles for the customers, then it was not appropriate for us to keep a big cylinder in it. Our effort was to provide the customers with the same amount of usable boot space and the same amount of CNG capacity as a normal car, then their problem would be solved. Because CNG is not only good because it not only reduces CO2 but also reduces the running cost. So two cylinders turned out to be the solution. This solved both the pollution and running cost problems. CNG is available in every higher variant of our cars. With this, we eliminated whatever shyness there was about using CNG cars. Now even the best of people can drive a CNG car without any hesitation. We have recently also introduced the option of automatic transmission with CNG in Tiago and Tigor. With this, the customer has got both advanced features and CNG options in the same vehicle. People are liking twin cylinder cars. The market share of CNG vehicles is much more than our market share in the Indian market. 7. How safe are CNG cars? There is no need to worry about safety in CNG vehicles. We have done rear collision test of CNG vehicles. In this, it is seen whether the car is safe even if there is a collision from behind. Apart from this, if the fuel flap is opened to fill CNG, the supply of CNG in the vehicle stops. Due to this, there is no scope for any incident like fire. If there is any fire in the car due to any other reason, the first thing that happens is the CNG system gets shut off. Even if there is any leakage in CNG, arrangements have also been made to vent it out. We have not even reduced the petrol tank. If you have to go to the out station, you can also drive on petrol. The car can be converted from petrol to CNG and from CNG to petrol with a single click. There is no visible reduction in its power either. We have given many such features in the car, so that the fun of driving is not reduced in any way and safety is also maintained. 8. SUVs are in highest demand in the market, will the market of sedans and hatchbacks end? Indians are buying less cars in both sedan and hatchback segments. Instead they are preferring small SUVs. One reason for this could be that, when you sit in an SUV, you can see well all around. You sit in a command driving position, with everything visible below you. Second reason- People think that SUVs are safer than small cars. That’s why people may buy a second hand car, but prefer SUV only. 9. How do you view driverless cars in India? Will this type of vehicle fit on Indian roads? Any technology is bound to come sooner or later. At the moment, there is a need to understand ADAS Level 3. In this, the driver can remove his hands and eyes from the front and can do his work. But, there are many legal challenges in this, like – who will be responsible in case of an accident – the driver, or the one who made the software, or the one who made the camera. Driver less cars are not yet available in countries like America and China. Tesla cars also have features up to level 2.X. Tesla cars have also not reached Level 3. It is not written anywhere in Tesla’s manual that you can leave the car and do any other work. ADAS stands for Advanced Driver Assistance System, not Driver Replace System. Today’s situation is not good for driver less cars, perhaps it may happen in future and companies will try to bring it. 10. Auto companies in western countries are incorporating generative AI technology like ChatGPT in cars. Is there any need for generative AI in cars, especially in India? ChatGPT is called Large Language Model. This is a kind of means of analysis. That is, when you put a question in it, it answers by thinking or searching everywhere. It is not yet appropriate to bring it into a driving situation. Because, if someone is coming from the front, should I apply brakes or not, this question cannot be asked to ChatGPT. Because, in this you do not get time to respond. Anyway, ChatGPT runs on the internet, so the internet speed is not the same everywhere. At present, very little can be done with ChatGPT when it comes to driving or safety. But it can be used for some things like service support. Questions like – where is the best service available, which service center is nearby or where will it cost, etc. can be asked. Such features can be seen in cars in the coming days.

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