New Tata Pickup to Compete Globally

Tata-Xenon-Single-Cab II

Tata Motors, one of India's largest automotive and commercial truck makers, is about to enter the world of midsize commercial trucks — in India. Tata already makes the personal-use Xenon XT for the local market, and that truck competes with the Genio, which is made by Mahindra, the other big-selling, low-cost pickup truck maker.

The new truck is designed to be a new offering for Tata in a segment that the company predicts will grow significantly over the next several years, both in the personal-use and commercial segments. The XT is offered with three different diesel engines with a fourth variant on the way and comes in regular cab (under $10,000) and four-door crew-cab (under $12,000) configurations. Depending on the configuration, the XT can carry more than 2,000 pounds.

Tata-xenon-xt-int II

According to some sources, it is likely the small commercial version is expected to be exported to Thailand, South Africa and parts of Southern Europe. We don't know if something like the Xenon XT can be made in the U.S. or if Tata is looking for a domestic partner, but it would be interesting. Other low-cost truck makers (remember the Great Wall Motors Steed?) are rumored to be looking for facilities in the U.S., where they might be able to make an affordable and smaller midsize pickup for a segment that is seemingly pricing and sizing itself out of existence. 

Tata Motors Xenon XT Double Cab

Tata-Xenon-Crew-Cab-Pick-Up-Truck II

Great Wall Motors Steed Crew Cab

Tata Great-Wall-Steed-Pickup-Truck II



What a perfect statement of the state of the US automotive industry: "...make an affordable and smaller midsize pickup for a segment that is seemingly pricing and sizing itself out of existence." I could not have said it better. Have you seen the full-size trucks recently? They're HUGE! And Ford is dropping the Ranger so the only choice is huge-size. I wish the Tata truck would come to the US and give the big 4 a run for their money.

Toyota and Nissan are laughing with their mid size pickups in NA at the moment. They have no competition and they are selling outdated vehicles. Have a close look at the US August pickup sales, like I said the smaller vehicles have improved significantly over the full size pickups.

Yes, there is a market for full size trucks, but the market wants more smaller pickup style vehicles and you have such a limited range of outdated vehicles to choose from.

If their was some form of competition do you think vehicles like the recently departed NA Ranger would have existed.

If what Jeff S said is true, a Great Wall 4x4 single cab ute could be sold in the US for less than $16 000 there will be many customers. In Australia I think they are $19 000 driveaway with an aluminium 6x8 bed with drop sides.

They have a small Mitsubishi 2.4 litre gas engine with little power. But they would be cheap. Their build quality isn't fantastic, but they are a vast improvement over your Ford Ranger, and the vehicle dynamics would be nearly on par with your current Taco as the chassis is a Toyota Surf chassis, the body is from an Izuzu and the drive train Mitsubishi. Quite a mixed up vehicle.

I know people would say I wouldn't buy Chinese, but I do think the Chinese utes will have less resistance than the original Japanese vehicles from the 60s and 70s had.

I haven't heard any real complaints about their reliability yet either.

What DenverMike says is partially true about gas, but his posts have been continually "anti diesel". I don't mind having a debate with him over his and my lack of knowledge as we both learn from each other.

My biggest argument is Australia is probably the only country in the world where we have significant numbers of vehicles that are "NA like", Asian, and Euro. So we can quite confidently make the quotes we do as we can make direct comparisons.

@Big Al - I agree with your comments, but in the context of the current "fishbowl" we live in - compact trucks aren't really doing all that well. As you pointed out, the Ranger and even the current Tacoma and Frontier would not exist in their current state if there was adequate competition. 1/2 tons are what drive the market. We've discussed the reasons why that is the case many times and I agree with you. I'm just seeing things as they are at this point in time and basically stating how I see it.
It is not ideal for us in North America, but it is what it is. I am happy with the truck I have and I've owned both small and large trucks. There isn't a truly competitive small truck in our market nor is there a competitive small truck market. If there was - full sized trucks wouldn't be as dominant.
I can live with that fact because I buy what I think I need, and I will compromise if need be. It is rather unfortunate for small truck fans like Jeff. I do not blame him for being frustrated and feeling abandoned. I'm not telling anyone to give up on small trucks or to "put up or shut up" when it comes to big trucks. No sense beating my head against the "glass". I can control what I buy and who I buy it from, but since I am just 1 guy and rarely buy trucks (3 new trucks, 1 used truck, 1 used van in 28 years), manufacturers aren't going to cry about me voting with my dollars. It may be a diferent story if enough people did. The problem is - most people are like me, if given the choice between an outdated small truck and a competitive full sized truck, most will chose the large truck and be happy with that choice.
Ignorance may very well be bliss, but in my case, I'm just being pragmatic.

@Big Al - I'd like to see Tata, Great Wall, and any other maker of cheep trucks flood the NA market if for no other reason than to see our market get its collective feces together.
As you have pointed out - the USA is protectionistic and unfortunately our Canadian politicians have their heads up Uncle Sam's ass.

@Lou and Big Al from Oz,
The problem is the Commercial/Pickup etc mix in NA is very different from Australia. I have said if you took the "mix" from the US and applied it to Australia/Europe/ Japan, people would moan.
Take it from Europe and apply it to Japan and the US and there would be a lot more moaning.
The "mix" is specific to the market you are operating in. Yes you can have some small diesel pickups and HD US Diesel Pickups sold in NA and outside NA respectively. but they are not going to make much difference to the "mix" that is already there.

@Robert Ryan
I agree the mix is different between "global" countries of more or less the same commercial vehicles, but the US is different commercial vehicles.

In the beginning came the eurovans :)

drum roll please... Ta-Ta

Four-door crew-cab under $12,000? Wow, I'm very interested now. And it's not a bad looking truck. Sort of looks like an older F150 and a Tacoma.

@ Big Al from Oz That is what I meant by the "mix" being different. In Japan you have Kei Pickups, North America HD Pickups, Europe , Cabover trucks, and Vans all have different regulations, different configurations etc to meet their needs.

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