So, how does the maker of the world’s cheapest mass-market car go about building India’s first home-grown upscale crossover? First, go buy several small European automakers…
Tata’s Carl-Peter Forster tells The Hindu that
the product has been developed with some inputs from Tata Jaguar-Land Rover with regard to the interiors. But it is a car created for India at the Engineering Centre in Pune and manufactured in Pune.
Reports in the Indian media vary, but but they range from talk of a JLR-led “interior makeover” to such claims as
JLR technology know- how is injected into Aria regarding harshness, vibration, noise faults and overall finishing… Tata Aria will make a road for Tata’s dependency on JLR technical backup for almost every segment.
All models have a 2.2 liter diesel engine making 137 hp and AWD, as well as navigation, ESP, and six airbags. Accordingly, Indian-market prices are in the properly “upscale crossover” $30-$35k range [prices converted from rupees, and reflect local market conditions]. Still, it’s got that “biggest Nano on the block” look, that lets you have your GPS navigation and “European interior” while still keeping it real for the ‘hood. Speaking of Europe, Mahindra has put the Italian, Spanish and Polish markets on notice to expect an Aria in their area “within a year.”
And the US market? According to Forster, Tata is a long way from a US launch. Why?
One has to be able to do U.S.-wide sales. The U.S. market is one of the last markets we could enter. There are so many which are easier, cheaper and quicker to enter
Jaguar-Land Rover don’t mind helping with the Aria’s interior, but they’re damned if they’ll share dealership space with it.