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Tata Motors defers launch of RaceMo sports car

LiveMint logoLiveMint 14-07-2017 Shally Seth Mohile

Mumbai: Tata Motors Ltd has deferred the launch of RaceMo, a proposed two-door luxury sports car, indefinitely, two people aware of the development said. The car had been scheduled to go on sale this financial year.

The prototype of the RaceMo, which was unveiled amid much fan-fare by Tata Motors’s managing director and chief executive Guenter Butschek at the Geneva Motorshow in March, was one of the biggest attractions at the event.

High cost of the project and the need to conserve resources for the company’s commercial vehicles business, which has come under pressure of late, prompted Tata Motors to delay the launch, said one of the two persons cited above.

Tata Motors also realized the premium car may not find enough takers in India and may not be worth the investment, he added.

In an emailed statement, a company spokesperson said, “Tata Motors is currently going through a turnaround phase with a strong focus on improving the bottom line by rigorous cost reduction and sales enhancement, leveraging our superior range of new products. This has called for a review of all projects/marketing; nothing to be shared yet. Our future product plans are also periodically reviewed based on dynamic business situation. At this stage, we have no further comments to make on this specific speculation.”

On 1 February, Tata Motors said it had created a dedicated vertical within the passenger vehicle business unit called TAMO to facilitate innovation, explore new business models and strike partnerships for future products and services.

RaceMo, it said, would be the first product developed by TAMO. “Even as the model has been put on the back burner the TAMO concept has not been shelved,” said the second of the two persons cited above.

TAMO, Butschek said in February, will act as an open platform to network with global start-ups and leading technology firms to access new trends, innovations and solutions for the design of future products and services.

The RaceMo project was the second big announcement by Tata Motors at the Geneva show that faces uncertainty. The automaker had also announced the signing of an in-principle agreement with Volkswagen group and Skoda to explore long-term cooperation for joint product development. On 28 June, Autocar India magazine reported the alliance may be called off as VW and Skoda had become increasingly skeptical about the cost effectiveness of partnering in the platform development with Tata Motors. In response, Tata Motors said it’s evaluating the potential cooperation based on technical feasibility and adequate levels of synergies.

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