Tata Motors on last-week celebrated 60 years of truck manufacturing at its first manufacturing and engineering facility in Jamshedpur. Set-up in 1945, Tata Motors Jamshedpur started with manufacturing steam locomotives, later foraying into truck manufacturing, bringing global trucking technology to India in 1954.
Since then, Tata Motors’ Jamshedpur plant has been modernised consistently, with a particularly intense scale in the last 10 years, equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and assembly lines to produce a truck every five minutes. The facility assembles over 200 Tata Motors Medium and Heavy Commercial (M&HCV) models, for varied movement of equipment, raw materials, goods and services, across distances, catering to millions of Indians every day. Jamshedpur also houses engineering centres to conduct truck testing for operatability in various climatic conditions and varied surfaces, including dense urban centres, all of which operate under distinct set of rules and regulations, governing commercial vehicles operations. The facility rolled out its Two-millionth commercial vehicle, in 2013.
As a development and manufacturing hub for Tata Motors M&HCVs, Tata Motors’ Jamshedpur’s engineering research centre is capable of carrying out complex vehicle design and integration of Tata Motors current and future trucks, also developing complex intelligent electronic control systems of next-generation trucks, cabins, multi-axle trucks, tractor-trailers and tippers and special application vehicles (like mixers and tankers), for both civilian and defence customers. The facility is also capable of manufacturing trucks compliant right up to EURO VI or BS VI (BHARAT STAGE VI), emission standards.
Tata Motors Jamshedpur also conducts driver training programs that impart knowledge of truck operations, for better road safety and overall vehicle performance.
Commenting on the occasion, Mr. Ravindra Pisharody, Executive Director Commercial Vehicles Business Unit, Tata Motors’ said, “We at Tata Motors are proud to have achieved yet another trucking milestone of 60 years of manufacturing excellence at our plant here in Jamshedpur. From the very beginning, Tata Motors Jamshedpur has lead the transformation in the Indian commercial vehicles space, setting benchmarks through the introduction of class-leading trucks, with the most relevant global technologies, incorporating flexibility to develop and manage our current and future portfolio, with speed and in-line with varied market requirements. With world-class quality manufacturing and engineering programs here in Jamshedpur, it is in our continuous endeavour, to remain the most preferred trucking brand.”
Dr. AK Jindal, Head, ERC (Engineering Research Centre), Commercial Vehicles Business Unit, Tata Motors said, “Our engineering teams at Tata Motors work closely with all stakeholders, in developing and successfully deploying various technologies for broad spectrum of commercial vehicles, that enable connectivity, safety, better fuel economy, along with optimal vehicle performance. Given our widest portfolio of medium and heavy commercial vehicles, which has been developed based on our deep understanding of customer needs and usage patterns, we at Tata Motors continuously strive to develop and integrate new and relevant vehicular technologies, offering best-in-class value proposition. Needless to say integration of these new technologies is backed by necessary service network.” Dr. Jindal further added “As Tata Motors products touches the lives of a large number of people beyond the businesses we cater to, we have developed the widest product portfolio of alternate fuel vehicles, hybrids as well as electric vehicles contributing to improving the environment as well as class leading products like Prima and Ultra family improving driver comfort and safety.”
As we at Tata Motors work toward developing multiple new platforms, we constantly also work with all our stakeholders to improve the performance and reliability of our existing offerings, proactively taking steps to ensure that we remain the most preferred brand in the CV space. Having led technological shifts in the Indian commercial vehicle space, like standardising radial tyres and offering automatic transmission in tippers, we at Tata Motors have embarked on a journey of HORIZONEXT, a four pronged customer-focused strategy, aimed at providing the best customer experience — from best vehicle experience to superlative purchase experience, followed by technology-intense after-market service support. The four pillars for this strategy are:
INTENSE PRODUCT FOCUS
Tata Motors commercial vehicles division adopted a customer-centric three Horizon Technology Roadmap for its products, with an emphasis on:
- Research and Innovation
- Integrated Electronics Architecture
- CO2 improvement
Based on this technology roadmap, Tata Motors recently showcased a series of CV products in the M&HCV space, at the recently concluded Auto Expo 2014, to build on the first Horizonext pillar of Intense Product focus being – PERFORMANCENEXT, DESIGNEXT, FUELNEXT.
- DESIGNEXT – Tata Motors’ design focus is not limited to the passenger vehicles but truly extends into the commercial vehicles. Good examples of these for Tata Motors M&HCVs is the Prima CX 1618.T, a new MCV from the Prima range, which was showcased at the recently concluded Auto Expo 2014.
- PERFORMANCENEXT – Through PerformanceNext Tata Motors commitment towards industry leading performance standards, in terms of product innovations, was recently showcased at the Auto Expo 2014; power-to-weight ratio, lesser wear and tear of parts, fuel mileage, catering to the customers ever demanding needs. The LPS 4923 Lift Axle, is the first prime mover in India with a lift axle technology.
- FUELNEXT –Focused on contributing to a cleaner and greener environment, transport efficiency and driving comfort at its best, Tata Motors showcased multiple products under FuelNext @ AutoExpo 2014.Green fuels on display from Tata Motors M&HCV stable were the Prima 4032.S LNG, which offers a green alternative to diesel. LNG and is also a superior fuel compared to CNG thus ensuring better fuel economy.
Tata Motors has introduced some new technologies in its medium and heavy range of trucks in the last 10 years, some of which are –
- Environment/Safety –ABS – Anti Lock Brake System, Electronic Stability Control in Tractors, Engines with Emission Compliance through EGR, (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) & SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction)
- Driving Comfort – Next-gen cabins with Ergo Pack, air-conditioning, keyless entry, Electronic Instrument Cluster, Pneumatically suspended seats, Music system, Adjustable telescopic steering, Clutch Booster for Clutch Pedal Assistance, Advanced HVAC system (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) for trucks, Light Intensity Control.
- Creating new markets – Modular Chassis Frame and Cabin in Prima, Lift Axle in LPT3118 – 8×2, Twin Speed Rear Axle, Tandem & Parabolic Bogie Suspension, Hub Reduction Rear Axle, Single Reduction Tandem Rear Axle, Telematics for Fleet Tracking, Modular Chassis frame in Prima.
FOCUS ON WORLD-CLASS QUALITY MANUFACTURING PRACTICES
The Quality assurance journey is driven by the vision to deliver world class quality. Tata Motors is committed to offer products that are reliable, safe and internationally acclaimed and it all starts with ensuring quality at each level of operation, with Jamshedpur at the forefront. With the facility being able to cater to CV’s with payloads ranging from 7 to 49 tonnes, over 20 Tata Motors CV models are currently exported and assembled based on strenuous quality led standards and processes. This also incorporates quality in design, ride and over feel of our vehicles based on real driving and on duty conditions.
We’ve incorporated some of some quality manufacturing standards in manufacturing the Prima and our entire M&HCV portfolio. These are based on:
- Quality Engineering – Check and validate the design of the product to ensure the customer gets trouble free product experience
- Quality Assurance – Quality processes and practices are standardized to produce high reliability products
- Quality operation – Ensures sustenance of product consistency and controls quality before it leaves the plant
- Logistics quality – Ensures factory fresh vehicle delivery to customers
- Customer quality – Ensures issues faced by the customer are resolved efficiently
- Product Performance Improvement Group (PPIG) – Focuses on improving performance of existing products
ENRICHED CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE & CONSISTENT QUALITY OF SERVICES
Besides ensuring a balance of expansion of our sales and service reach, Tata Motors CVBU is adopting various initiatives to drive efficiencies and better manage customer relations, through the sales and service channel as well as at various customer touch points. Tata Motors has also undertaken unique initiatives to ensure the right qualities in our sales staff, as one of the most important link in the chain. Some of these initiatives are
A) DRONA – For sales forces
- Rich training content by specialists
- High quality specialized trainers (48 Drona’s) –for each segment / service
- Product & Soft skills training to the Dealership sales team – 2 Days class room with role plays
- DSE ‘on the job’ coaching for efficiency and effectiveness
B) ‘LEAP’ (Learn & Engage for Augmenting Profitability) – Channel Partner – Capability Building initiatives
- Premium Training program conducted by Eminent Management Consultants along with Plant Visits
- Six Programs completed at different Plant Locations covering 120+ Dealer Principals
C) HR Tools for Employee Engagement for Dealers – Tata Motors regularly conducts training programs for HR Teams at dealerships
- eLearning being used to train TSMs on products and processes
- Learnings captured through Learning Management System in the system
- Trainees evaluated pre and post the training to measure effectiveness
- eLearning to become a standard practice for all new product/process launches
- DRONAs to starting using eLearning as a tool for effectiveness measurement in the next phase of trainings
Consistency of service is a key strength for Tata Motors CV business and constantly endeavours to offer best-in-class quality solutions to all its customers. Tata Motors commercial vehicles business has a number of industry leading initiatives, to ensure a consistent quality of service, apart from the products it sells.
This would include path breaking offerings pioneered by its M&HCV business supported by the “Power of 5”, a set of innovative offerings, to enable Tata Motors to strengthen its customer support and engagement. These services are backed by a Tata service touch-point every 50 kms on all major highways in the country, path breaking offerings such as Tata Motors’ loyalty program ‘Tata Delight’ (for retail customer) and Tata Emperor (for large key customers) offers customers with the benefit of loyalty points redeemable on new products and services. These Power of 5 services are –
- Tata Alert: Tata Motors M&HCVs highway assistance programme for medium and heavy commercial vehicles, available across all national highways.
- Tata FleetMan: Tata Motors fleet management and telematics solution. Tata Motors recently tied-up with Microlise of the UK, for advanced telematics solutions.
- Triple Benefit Insurance: Tata Motors has launched a new premium ‘Triple Benefit Insurance’ across its range of M&HCV, ICV & LCV Trucks and Tippers, yet another first from Tata Motors in the Indian commercial vehicle space with 3 specifically designed add-on covers – Depreciation waiver / Zero Depreciation Coverage, New Vehicle Replacement Coverage and Loss of Income/ Vehicle Hire Cost.
- Tata Motors 4 year warranty: Tata Motors now offers an unbeatable warranty of 4 years, on its entire range of medium & heavy trucks
- Extended Service Interval: Tata Motors has an extended service intervals on its range of M&HCV vehicles – on engine oil, gear oil and rear axle oil, enabling savings of Rs 30,000 over 4 years and delivering higher uptime.
In 2004 Tata Motors acquired Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicles Co. Ltd. (TDCV) of South Korea. The acquisition led to the joint development of Tata Motors’ Prima range of ‘World Trucks’, introduced in India in 2009. The power, speed, carrying capacity, operating economy and trims of the Tata Prima has set new benchmarks in India, matching with the best in the world, in performance, aggregates, features and comfort, along with the lowest life-cycle cost. The Prima range comprises multi-axle trucks, tractor-trailers, tippers, mixers, and special application vehicles all of which are built in Jamshedpur.
Corporate Social Responsibility in Jamshedpur
With 603 acres for Tata Motors’ Jamshedpur’s manufacturing, engineering and support services, Tata Motors has a township made up of 1250 acres, housing a residential quarters, hospitals and schools. While making technological, product and service advancements, the plant has been deeply committed to the community within which it operates. Working closely with various NGOs, it has pioneered initiatives in Health, Education, Livelihood and Environment. These initiatives have resulted in significant progress in community and social forestry, sustainable development of wastelands, road construction, rural health and education, development of rural industries, water supply and family planning.
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