DRB-Hicom brings in the Indian manufacturer’s range of Xenon pick-ups and Prima prime mover.
By OON EE SENG
TATA Motor Limited (Tata Motors) has revived the Tata brand in the Malaysian market through DRB-Hicom Commercial Vehicles Sdn Bhd (DHCV) with the launch of two commercial vehicles.
The wholly owned subsidiary of DRB-Hicom Berhad introduced the Tata Xenon pick-up and Prima prime mover at the EON Head Office Complex in Glenmarie, Shah Alam.
This marked the reemergence of Tata’s comeback to Malaysia since its first entry in 1993 until 2008. Tata Motors is India’s largest automobile manufacturer and leader in commercial vehicles. It is also the world’s fifth largest truck manufacturer and fourth largest bus manfacturer with a work force of over 60,000 employees.
Six variants of the Xenon – (Single Cab 4×2 & 4×4), Double Cab (Standard 4×2, Basic 4×4 & Premium 4×4) and Space Cab 4×2 – will be available, positioned as a workhorse for commercial applications for traders, small and medium industries and estates and plantations as well as for individuals with orchards or vegetable plots searching for a medium sized commercial vehicle to cart their harvest. The variants are expected to be priced from RM60,000 to RM80,000)
The Xenon, produced in Thailand, will be introduced in CBU form with a new generation Tata 2.2-litre common rail turbo engine producing 138hp.
The imported Tata Prima prime mover comes with a 4×2 and 6×4 configuration – Tata Prima 4038.S and Tata Prima 4938.S. The 8,849cc Cummins ISLe Euro III diesel is mated to an Eaton FSO10309 nine-speed transmission, able to deliver a maximum of 370hp and 1,550 of torque. Indicative prices of the two variants are RM270,000 and RM320,000 respectively.
The Tata Prima in CBU form is a new generation of medium and heavy commercial vehicles from Tata Motors with sharing of resources with Tata-Daewoo of South Korea, conceptualised, designed and developed as a global truck.
Targeted at fleet owners, distribution and logistics companies, the Tata Prima has an Italian cab design, engine technology from the United States and Europe, gearbox expertise from Germany, chassis frame know-how from Mexico, sheet metal dies from Japan and Korea, combined with Swedish precision on a robotic weld line; hence it is also referred to as the “World Truck” by Tata Motors.
“The collaboration between DRB-Hicom and Tata Motors is indeed a good match as it combines two strong brands. Tata and DRB-Hicom can indeed leverage on each other’s strengths and experience,” said Datuk Radzaif Mohamed, chief operating officer of Automotive Distribution and Manufacturing, DRB-Hicom.
The collaboration will also involve DRB-Hicom’s local assembly of Tata light and medium-duty trucks at its Pekan plant in Pahang in the immediate future.
Radzaif said DHCV will go all out under its “Tata, Made To Conquer” motto to penetrate all the commecial market segments, namely pick-up, light commercial vehicle, medium commercial vehicle, heavy commercial vehicle, prime mover and bus.
Ravi Pisharody, executive director of Tata Motors’ Commercial Vehicles Business Unit, said: “The launch of the Tata Prima range and Xenon pick-ups is an important milesstone in Tata Motors’ continued expansion into the Asean region. The Malaysian market and the Asean region is a key focus for the growth plans of Tata Motors’ international business.
“We also have plans to shortly introduce some more products from our vast portfolio in the coming months as we expand our presence in this market.”
DRB-Hicom group managing director Tan Sri Datuk Seri Mohd Khamil Jamil said RM10 million will be injected to establish DHCV’s operation, including a flagship 3S (sales, service and spare parts) centre in Selayang, distribution and related activities.
DHCV has appointed seven dealers nationwide in Selangor, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Johor and Sabah, with a total of 21 dealerships on stream by next month.
The launch also saw the handover of the Tata prime mover to DHVC’s first two clients, Konsortium Logistic Bhd and Puspakom.
An upbeat Mohd Khamil said the Xenon and Prima range is a product to be reckoned with, with DRB-Hicom having received 17 firm bookings so far for Tata’s prime mover.