News - Tata
Tata's Australian safari
Rural round-up: The Tata Safari will be aimed primarily at rural buyers.
A new contender - designed and built in India - has just joined the burgeoning four-wheel drive segment
31 July 2000
THE new Tata Safari, priced from $28,897, comes well equipped and is powered by a 2.0-litre, turbo-diesel engine that generates 67kW and 191Nm.
Although closer in size to mid-size off-roaders such as the Mitsubishi Challenger, the Safari is priced in line with the likes of the smaller Honda CR-V.
Standard features include air-conditioning, central locking, power windows and mirrors, engine immobiliser and AM/FM radio/cassette. A five-speed manual gearbox is the only transmission offered.
Introduced here in 1996 and distributed through Queensland-based Anoger Automobiles, Tata now has a 48-strong dealer network and averages 600 annual ute sales.
Tata Australia national sales and marketing manager Mr Dick Rackemann says the Safari ? which will be aimed primarily at rural buyers - could supplement this figure by an additional 250 to 300 sales per year.
The Safari's sales are expected to be incremental as the other models in Tata's range are cab-chassis and utilities.
Further down the track, Tata Australia may supplement its line-up with the compact Indica ? a potential rival for the likes of the Daewoo Lanos and imminent 1.3-litre Daihatsu Sirion.
"The Indica is on our shopping list but the earliest we could get it here is late 2001," Mr Rackemann said.
The neatly styled five-door is available in its home market with the choice of a 1.4-litre, 16-valve petrol engine or a diesel powerplant, but only the former will be considered for Australia.
"The Indica is a beautifully finished car and we are salivating at the prospect of getting it here," Mr Rackemann said.
But the non-availability of an automatic transmission (at least for now) may prove to be a handicap.
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