Tata Motors’ Punch, the sub-compact SUV which goes on sale from today, will also get an electrified version ahead as part of the company’s larger strategy to launch affordable EVs in India.
With prices starting from Rs 5,49,000 (ex-showroom), Punch, the sub-four-metre model aims to attract the buyers of the so-called high hatches and sub-compact sedans. It rivals the Suzuki Swift, Renault Kiger, Mahindra KUV100, among others. It is coming at a price point which is disruptive as you don’t have a model of this nature, said Shailesh Chandra, president, passenger vehicle business unit, Tata Motors.
“An electrified version of the Punch is under active consideration. It makes a lot of sense,” People are willing to pay a premium of 25-30 per cent over a regular internal combustion engine (ICE) powered model, he pointed out.
According to Chandra, when one buys an EV, it’s not just the initial acquisition cost that is considered but also the overall ownership cost and its inherent benefits that are factored in. Therefore, in totality EVs have a much stronger cost proposition. The newer emission norms are making ICE more expensive, narrowing the initial acquisition cost of ICE powered models and EVs. On top of that, the government subsidies are also helping.
Most importantly, the company has been encouraged with the response to its EV launches including the e-Tigor and E-Nexon. Priced at Rs 11,99,000 to Rs 12,99,000, the e-Tigor made its debut last month as the most affordable EVs. Tata Motors plans to have a portfolio of ten EVs by 2025. The Tata Group flagship that recently raised a billion dollars for its newly formed EV subsidiary, has a combined order book of 35,000 units for both the EV models.
Tata Motors started accepting the bookings for the model on October 4. Chandra claimed that the bookings have been the highest among all the new range of models launched by the company in the last two to three years. With its sporty stance, roominess, commanding seating, high ground clearance, versatility and safety, the Punch punches above its weight and creates a new segment, said Chandra and boasts of all the true characteristics of an SUV.
“The Punch with its competitive pricing and features has the potential to grow the segment and be the volume spinner for Tata Motors,” said Puneet Gupta, director at IHS Markit. The company, however, may not be able to harness the full demand potential due to the ongoing shortage of the semiconductors. In line with the current trend for higher preference for feature rich models, majority of the bookings received for the model are for the higher trims, said Chandra.
Based on the Alpha architecture, Tata Motors has introduced the Punch amid a growing preference for SUVs in the Indian market. The body type accounted for a record 49 per cent share in the PV market in the September quarter. The pandemic has made the body type popular as people hit the roads to reach leisure destinations at a more regular frequency.
The Punch will be available both in Manual (MT) and Automatic (AMT) transmission options, in 4 distinct variants with – Pure, Adventure, Accomplished and Creative, to cater to the varied lifestyle of its customers.