Tata to launch 0.5 tonne Ace by March 2011

In 2005, Tata Motors created a new segment in the small commercial vehicle — with Ace the little wonder. It prompted the other three-wheeler majors to enter the category, which is today the fastest growing among light commercial vehicles.

Tata after launching various versions of the Ace like Ace HT, Ace EX and Super Ace 1 tonne is now planning to launch a smaller version which is code named Penguin. The Penguin which shares its platform with Magic Iris will be launched before the end of the financial year 2010-2011.

The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) data shows that Ace, which had a dominant market share of 87% in the goods carrier category for the last fiscal, has been recording a decline since January when M&M launched its Gio & Maxximo.

Tata Motors, India’s largest vehicle maker, will set up a new manufacturing plant for the Ace and for other similar products, as it tries to defend its share in the segment from increased competition.

There is also a lot of buzz that Tata Motors may explore producing Ace family of products at its existing Dharwad plant in Karnataka.

Ravi Pisharody, president, commercial vehicle business unit, said, “Ace is a product for the common man. It is a revolutionary mini-truck. The opportunity is huge and growing… We see a big growth for the ACE family in the coming days.