When Tata Nano was introduced at the Auto Expo in 2008, it immediately became the rock star of the global automotive community sparking debates about the increased congestion in the roads across the world and supporters cheered on how it will help thousands of Indians to fulfil their dreams of owning a car.
Everyone predicted the death of commuter bikes in India and expected every small family in the country to own a Nano to make their travel safer and more stylish.
Fast forward to 2010 – Reports of Nano cars randomly exploding take everyone by surprise sparking debates about the actual safety of the vehicle.The car was found to have some fundamental flaws in its design and Tata Motors offered to fix the flaws for free and called for a recall. This was a major disaster for the small car and the sales have been hitting the floor for this little wonder which promised to change the way families in India commute.
The latest news is that Tata Motors has sold just 506 cars in the month of November down from the 3024 figure of October 2010. So, what went wrong?
Many things from the product recall which scares the wits out of any wannabe owner of a Tata Nano. I would not want to drive a car with an eye in the rear view to see if there is a fire brewing up.
Then, the costs. The car which was promised to cost less than Rs. 1,00,000 (2000 USD) is now at almost double the price and putting in in direct competition of some of the small cars in the market. This takes it way out the league of the motorcycle prices with whom it is meant to compete with. Tata Motors blames the costs of raw materials for this price hike.
The banks have also withdrawn their support to the Indian Car dream as the car is meant for the “low income group” which means their chances of repaying the loan is a bigger risk than other car loans. This will perhaps be the biggest of the reasons why Nano is not taking off. Tata has huge hurdles to cross on this front if it wants to Nano sales to pick up.
Personally, I kind of like the car a lot. If I was not such a big motorcycle lover, maybe I would have gone for the Nano. It is small, cheap, different and has a roof! What do you think about the Tata Nano? Would you buy it if you had the money? Why and why not?
Looking forward to your thoughts.
Inspired from Team BHP