Monday, December 17, 2007

Tata's Small Car as a Taxi

I read this news item in the economic times Tata's small car may become taxi operators' choice and then there was a question raised in one of the discussions* which promoted me to raise this issue .The article says that many of the Taxi Operators across the country are postponing their plans to buy Indica and other small cars and are waiting for the Auto Expo in Jan when the Tata's would unveil the new car. The fact that the other products in the Tata Motors stable, Sumo and Indica have both the reputation of being cheap to run and affordable to own, the taxi operators expect the same from the new offering.

But as a marketer would it be a good idea if your car sells as a Taxi? World wide car manufactures have resisted being seen as a Taxi reasons being the impact on the Brand image and also because in the developed markets the Taxi business is very well organized with big players who have a lot of bargaining power and thus are able to get the best price possible. Though in the Indian market the Taxi operators are small and mostly unorganized market, but the first factor of the impact of the brand image is a factor which needs to be taken care of . Would a first time buyer (the expected target customer) be really keen on buying a car which is is running around the town as a Taxi? Or maybe it might not be as much as a criteria as we are talking about an entry car. In Srilanka I had read that Baja Autoriksha's are being used as a family transport vehicle........................

* By Vinayak during the Indica presentation.

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