Tata plans to refresh Nano

Saturday 30 November 2013, 12:18 PM by

Tata Nano, by far, has been one of the most popular and hyped cars of the Indian car market. Ever since reports regarding the launch of this compact hatchback surfaced, it has always been in the limelight. Whether it be for acquisition of land in West Bengal or the firm's claim of Nano being the world's cheapest production car, the hatchback has consistently made headlines. However, despite all this buzz and build-up, Nano has fallen quite short of expected sales levels. This model was expected to give tough competition to the likes of Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 and Hyundai Eon, something that it has been unable to do. In recent times, some reports suggested that Tata Motors might launch a diesel version of this car to attract buyers. In a recent interview to CNBC, Ratan Tata, the former chairman of Tata Group, spoke about the Nano explicitly, stating that there might be hope for the model in India in future.

Tata plans to refresh Nano | CarTrade.com
Tata plans to refresh Nano

It is being said that the Indian auto maker is going to be launched again in the market with a few changes. Ratan Tata, speaking on the same, said, "A re-launched Nano with some of the differences that we're trying to incorporate." He also said that there is a possibility that Nano might be launched in some international markets, which will cause a change of image. The company, according to sources, is banking on attracting interest from buyers in other international markets. "Maybe it gets launched in another country like Indonesia, where it doesn't have the stigma and the new image comes back to India. Or maybe as a changed product that gets marketed in Europe. There's a lot of interest in Nano outside India," Tata further added.

Many industry experts feel that one of the main reasons for the poor showing of Tata Nano was the marketing strategy adopted by the car maker. Using the words 'cheap' or 'cheapest', according to many, has changed views of many customers towards this car. Buyers in urban areas have shown reluctance in purchasing this car. As per Ratan Tata, this model should have been marketed as a car for people who currently own two wheelers and would want to buy four-wheeler for better comfort. However, this did not happen as the car got promoted as the 'cheapest' car, something that went on to stay in the minds of customers.

Ratan Tata, speaking about the same in the TV interview, said, "I always felt the Nano should have been marketed towards the owner of a two-wheeler because it was conceived to give people who rode on two-wheeler an all-weather, safe form of transportation, not (the) cheapest. It became termed as the cheapest car by the public, and [also] I'm sorry to say, by the company when it was being marketed."

Tata plans to refresh Nano

Tata Motors has made a lot of efforts in reviving the hopes of Nano in India but it has not worked out so far. Recently, the company launched the CNG emax version of this hatchback, which is highly fuel-efficient and environment friendly. Not only this, the Indian auto maker devised a massive advertising campaign that saw Nano being driven by the youth the word 'awesome' was used in the jingle.

Apart from loopholes in the firm's strategies, there are other reasons for this sort of performance by the Nano. In the first place, the segment it entered is highly competitive and companies like Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai dominate sales. Secondly, reports suggested that customers have been sceptical about the safety of this car, which stopped them from making purchases. However, the biggest reasons has been the model, which, in the opinion of experts, has been deprived of several features to accommodate an aggressive pricing strategy.