Last held in March 2017, Tata Motors' yearly truck racing spectacle – the T1 Prima Truck Racing Championship – has now been officially discontinued. We had exclusively reported about the move way back in the August 2017 issue of Autocar India.
Confirming the decision, Girish Wagh, the automaker's head of Commercial Vehicle Business Unit, told Autocar India that the event has served its key purpose of providing dignity to truck drivers. The auto major has now introduced various new initiatives to boost their motivation.
The decision will also help the company focus its resources on strengthening the performance of its commercial vehicle business, which is now on a revival path after witnessing a slump. In the 2018 fiscal, Tata Motors’ commercial vehicle sales grew 23.17 percent year-on-year to 3,76,456 units. Market shares, in turn, improved slightly to 43.95 percent from 42.80 percent in the previous year.
Tata Motors is now offering incentives such as an attractive insurance policy for truck drivers and scholarship for their kids. "We’ve come up with an insurance policy for the driver and it is also transferrable with the change in driver," said Wagh. "In an unfortunate case of accident, the insurance policy will not only take care of the driver but also his family." The Tata official added that the company is also offering a scholarship programme for the meritorious children of drivers under its ‘Sampurna Seva’ scheme.
Other initiatives that the carmaker is taking towards enhancing driver dignity include driver training and setting up of aaram kendras on major routes. These kendras are equipped with facilities to help drivers rest after long journeys.
Conducted at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC), Greater Noida under the aegis of FIA and FMSCI, the T1 Prima Truck Racing Championship featured purpose-built Tata Prima race trucks, which underwent a host of performance upgrades across the four seasons for which it was held. The latest season saw introduction of the most powerful made-in-India truck, which had 1,040hp on tap.
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