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Opinion – Is Tata Nano failing in Indian auto market

It was Ratan Tata’s dream to see every Indian owning a car and that is why he brought out the Tata Nano, a comfortable, safe, all weather, passenger friendly car that was low on fuel consumption, and low on maintenance. Unfortunately it seems, Nano did more harm than good to Company’s image.  Producing the world’s cheapest car has led to a certain level of downfall.

A car that is available for just $2,500 or a little over one lakh Indian Rupees is under investigation by Tata Motors due to reports of electrical fires. There are reasons for its failure.  The problems all began when there was an agitation and the plant at Singur had to be closed down.

Then according to reports in newspapers, fires which seemed to be due to faulty wiring and manufacturing defects occurred in three cases. In all cases it occurred when ignition switch was in ‘off’ position.  There were also negative reports of the vehicle being too noisy.  This could be because the car is fitted with a 4 stroke engine similar to that of an Activa bike.

Though there was no loss of human life or any major calamities, this has caused a lot of concerns for the company and are they in the process of contemplating recalling of the Nano to investigate further. Then comes the consideration whether all of India needed a cheap car, well, it seems not. It’s not an EV, so people aren’t impressed, and it doesn’t meet needs per se.

To save face, Tata Motors is now busy trying to open retail points at smaller cities and villages just like they did with the ace, so they can increase sales volume, which is a major concern. It’s fast becoming a lost battle for Tata motors, and that’s’ why retail marketing for the Tata Nano seems to be an immediate solution. So don’t be surprised if you go shopping for groceries, and come home with a Tata Nano.

About the author

Nabanita Singha Roy

Nabanita Singha Roy

Love for a red car has with experience transformed to a detailed outlook for around the clock news from Nabanita Singha Roy. Starting out as auto blogger in 2009, her inextricable editorial approach guarantees diverse storylines for a widely enthusiastic automotive readership.

Email - nabanita@rushlane.com

 
 

Your opinion matters

  • Nabanita

    Dear Sarika and Debasis,

    It’s very clear that you’re unhappy with this blog post, and since I wrote the article, I’m trying to initiate further dialog for clarifications. As of date, this isn’t the first time the Tata Nano has been the subject of an auto blog at this forum, so, personally I do not have anything against the car, or the company.

    In response to your well drawn out comment:

    “To say the least, your reporter has made a complete travesty of truth.

    The Tata Nano has not only enhanced the reputation of Tata Motors and the
    Tata Group but that of Indian engineering as a whole.

    Our customer satisfaction studies with Tata Nano owners indicate that over
    90% are satisfied or very satisfied with the car, because of it being ‘small
    yet spacious’, its performance, maneuverability, durability, mileage,
    safety, pricing etc. In a nutshell, customers are happy with the features,
    performance and pricing, which clearly establishes the appropriateness of
    the Tata Nano.”

    It would be a travesty had this been an absolute statement. It is an open ended question that can be received as chosen. The topic revolves around, ‘Is Tata Nano failing in Indian auto market’, and not ‘Tata Nano has failed in the Indian auto market. Customer satisfaction studies can suggest many things, and how that information is interpreted is also a matter of concern. This is car that doesn’t have competition because it’s alone in its segment, and sales reports don’t suggest anything extraordinary, whereas cars in other segments that cost more, offer similar experience, and have immense competition, sell more cars.

    “Tata Motors is not recalling the Tata Nano. There is no question of it,
    because there is no generic defect in the car.”

    Companies such as Nissan and Toyota are responsible enough to recall or reprogram vehicles for any noticeable issues but Tata Nano has not taken any active responsibility in helping people restore faith in the little car.

    “Way back in November 2010 we have categorically stated that the Tata Nano is
    a safe car with a robust design and state-of-the-art components. The
    investigation, by a team of internal and international experts, concluded
    that the reasons for the incidents in few Tata Nano cars are specific to the
    cars which had such incidents. We have noticed instances of additional
    foreign electrical equipment having been installed or foreign material left
    on the exhaust system.”

    There are many after market accessories for all cars in all segments but after adding an accessory people’s cars don’t catch fire.

    “It is also our belief that as we penetrate deeper,
    the Tata Nano will be bought increasingly by users in the hinterlands not
    fully familiar to cars.
    As for customer reach-out initiatives, which your reporter has described as
    “face saving”, it is only but natural that the Tata Nano has to be made
    available at the furthest corners of the country, because that is where a
    majority of customers live. Hence the initiatives to open Special Nano
    Access Points, exclusive Nano dealers, backed with commensurate marketing
    and finance infrastructure.”

    It is very clear that efforts were made to ensure healthy sales figures from all markets but obviously efforts made in bigger cities aren’t that satisfactory, and as a result the company is now concentrating on access points, and Nano dealers to reach nooks and corners. This is suggestive of a plan to fall back on, and can’t be interpreted as expansion or phase II of Tata Nano sales plans. There is an immense need to tap into new buyer markets so the Tata Nano is sustainable.

    We have already covered news previously regarding Tata retailing the Nano, and at the end of this article it is mentioned that retailing the Nano can be an immediate solution, which is really a good thing.

    I don’t think we’re in conflict here, rather it’s just how the article has been interpreted.

    I hope the explanation above can bring closure to this difference of opinion. If not, do let us know.

    Thanking you,
    Nabanita (blogger).

  • Sarika Kapoor

    April 26, 2011

    The Editor
    http://www.rushlane.com

    Dear Sir,

    We refer to the post, ‘Is Tata Nano failing in Indian auto market’.

    To say the least, your reporter has made a complete travesty of truth.

    The Tata Nano has not only enhanced the reputation of Tata Motors and the Tata Group but that of Indian engineering as a whole.

    Our customer satisfaction studies with Tata Nano owners indicate that over 90% are satisfied or very satisfied with the car, because of it being ‘small yet spacious’, its performance, maneuverability, durability, mileage, safety, pricing etc. In a nutshell, customers are happy with the features, performance and pricing, which clearly establishes the appropriateness of the Tata Nano.

    Tata Motors is not recalling the Tata Nano. There is no question of it, because there is no generic defect in the car.

    Way back in November 2010 we have categorically stated that the Tata Nano is a safe car with a robust design and state-of-the-art components. The investigation, by a team of internal and international experts, concluded that the reasons for the incidents in few Tata Nano cars are specific to the cars which had such incidents. We have noticed instances of additional foreign electrical equipment having been installed or foreign material left on the exhaust system. It is also our belief that as we penetrate deeper, the Tata Nano will be bought increasingly by users in the hinterlands not fully familiar to cars.

    Taking all this into account, we decided to make the car even more robust. We have done this by providing additional features in the exhaust system and the electrical system.

    As for customer reach-out initiatives, which your reporter has described as “face saving”, it is only but natural that the Tata Nano has to be made available at the furthest corners of the country, because that is where a majority of customers live. Hence the initiatives to open Special Nano Access Points, exclusive Nano dealers, backed with commensurate marketing and finance infrastructure.

    That your reporter has not been able to appreciate this indicates the poverty of the individual’s undersanding and not a paucity of ideas on the part of Tata Motors.

    With kind regards,

    Yours sincerely,

    Debasis Ray
    Head – Corporate Communications
    Tata Motors

  • Shivkumar

    Tata Nano has been in news from the time it’s being launched. I own a Nano, and i am happy with it. I bought the upgraded version. I have not come across any problem as yet, though i was dreading that I might face problems as there was so much of negative aspects being published. But thankfully i haven’t had any issues with the car, its a complete family car. People shouldn’t think twice before buying it.

  • Mike Chowdhury

    The article is senseless with its title and conclusion when it says “So don’t be surprised if you go shopping for groceries, and come home with a Tata Nano.” The conclusion of the author shows that the car is a Paradigm shift in Indian car market which boost image for the company as it speaks itself of how innovative and successful the company is, bringing in new concept of selling cars

    • Rick Rude

      I think you got it wrong there. For me, its a little pun intended by the author there that Tata is trying too hard to sell Nano that its being sold in supermarket.

      • G_duck3

        I guess, you got it wrong here.
        You don’t sell stuffs in Super Market which no one wants to buy. Super Markets believe in making Money in volumes. Here this would indicate the popularity of Nano.

  • Vivek

    I think the article is bogus and trying to attract attention. There was a period when Tata got it wrong on marketing. They thought that the product will sell on its own strengths and nothing else is required. That is where they misread the market and let it slip.. I think they are working hard now to rebuild it. It may be no-surpirse that we all find suddenly that Nano has become an all important vehicle for india

  • Paula

    Hello, I do think that Nano is now successful in India. Tata Motors current numbers show improvement and I a feel this trend will continue. As for the creative new marketing in small retail points, I love it. The plan is customer centric, in keeping with the Tata “bottom of the pyramid” approach, and consistent with the dream to reach out to those who can “truly benefit” from the use Nano. Honestly, why build “buildings” when you can reach the people where they go. Make the purchase convenient for the customer especially in small towns and villages! We all have too little time in each day to waste it.

  • Joseph Lanithottam

    This article is a cheap attempt to tarnish the Tata Nano. Each of the 5 paragraphs in the small article has a negative slant.

    Whats wrong with sales in smaller cities and villages? I think thats smart marketing. Maruti Suzuki seems to have doubled their sales in the rural market.

    The first few months have been terrible for the Nano especially with the Singur fiasco, where the entire plant had to be shifted before a single car was manufactured. Meanwhile the costs went up but to the credit of the Tata’s they still delivered a 1 Lakh car. Even now the next affordable car costs almost 40% more.

    There is no doubt the engaging marketing campaign has helped the Nano sell at a decent clip of 8000 per month but then it was a gross mistake not to engage the customer earlier.

    And now the diesel version of the Nano (expected mileage of 35 km per litre of deisel) is expected to hit the roads soon. Many think this will be a game changer. If recent reports are to be believed Tata’s are planning to expand their production capacity.

    Looks like Tata’s have finally got their marketing act together.

  • Guest

    I am a regular reader of this blog and have read good things about Tata here. No one ever bothered to put their comments on those articles.

    Now if there is a slightly negative article about Tata being posted, there are hell lots of people with english names also replying back.

    This bring me to the conclusion that these commenters are paid employees of Tata Motors who are trying to bring a negative sentiment about the author. Tata Motors should better improve on their services than these cheap strategies.

    • Argho Mukherji Isbmmedia

      Hello,
      In reference to your comment that we are paid commenters of Tata Motors, I am sorry to inform you that people here are satisfied consumers of Tata vehicles no one is doing a PR stunt here.

    • Joseph Lanithottam

      Dear “Guest”,

      Most people here have commented with their names, So you can go ahead and verify.
      As for me, I don’t work for the TATA’s or even own a TATA vehicle.
      I haven’t read many articles here so can’t comment on their bias or non bias but this one is certainly biased. The short article has 5 paragraphs and each of them has something negative.

      • Abrahams’

        TRUE! TATA vehicles ain’t meant for personal purposes…good only for taxi/Tour operators. NO matter how gud u maintain them (Sierra, Indica, Sumo, Safari, n the pottiest of the pottys NANO) how much u care them, they all go loose 5 years down the line. They smoke black shitt, they smell gas, their engines-O ma Gawwdd. TATA is genetically commercial, be it buses, trucks, or cars. Good for taxi operators/look good with taxi operators.

  • Forgopi

    I am a true owner of Tata Nano, an NRI from US who was impressed by the vision of Tata and wanted to buy something totally indian. BTW – I am not a TATA Motors employee!!

    I already own two cars. First of all, I am happy with the performance of the car – provided you understand the engine specifications and the other cars in its class. To say it like they say in India – this is full “paisa vasool”. You cannot expect to pay Rs 2 Lakhs (top end) and expect to find BMW or Mercedes driving experience. The best thing i have found so far is that it is very slick in tight spaces and easily navigates in congested roads where big and expensive cars cannot go. I can even beat expensive cars in speed in tight traffic conditions. Granted the steering is not power steering and is difficult at times. I am hoping in the next version, Tata will introduce power steering. Also, the A/C did have problems initially, but it was rectified at my doorstep. This type of service I could not find even in the US.

    Tata has attracted top end of the market by their marketing hype – businessmen and NRIs. Only now they have started to penetrate into correct market segment – the interior villages etc..

    One thing I did notice – people still have an “negative image” problem with the NANO – they think it is cheap and unsafe car. BUT with the service warranty and the price I paid, I am completely satisfied with this. Ofcourse, this does not mean I will not buy another expensive car, but still this will be my favourite car.

  • Paula

    Dear “Guest”,
    I don’t work for Tata. I posted a positive comment thinking this was a friendly exchange of ideas. Those who question the integrity of others whilst not posting their name is….well, it begs the question who do you work for….guest? If you have no agenda then don’t be afraid of other opinions. Can’t we all just get along?

    • Rahul Roy

      LOL, Paula. What’s up? Is that a made up name? I am an Indian American and you know what – I won’t even spit on Tata Nano, let alone the possibility of buying it. Its a cheap car much below the industry standards. If Tata Nano continues to sell in Indian market, there would be more people dying on the roads.

      And yes, I also agree with “Guest” that you all are paid employees of Tata trying to justify the existence of Tata Nano .

  • Bhalchandra Sawant

    my nano also caught fire on 28.3.11. I had written following to tatas. let us see whether they acknowledges this.

    Dear Mr Bharathi Adiyar
    Customer Relation Manager

    This has reference to your letter No. 1-12076820393/1-12076655149 dated 31.3.2011.

    We are surprised to find from the contents of your letter that the car was reported brake down and you have to tow the same all the way to your Kandivali workshop from Goregaon.

    Please update your records that the car was catched fire and filled with smoke. Myself alongwith my mother, my wife, and daughter were trapped in smoke filled car and somehow people rescued us from the car.

    Your Mr Shubhunkar told us that this car was not upgraded with modification to make it safe against fire. They have now fitted some new kit to safeguard the car, and there will not be any such incidence in future.

    Please note that this car was repaired under name CAMPAIGN UPDATION FOR R-R OF FUEL LINE FILTER TO RAIL ON 5.8.2010.

    In spite of upgradation to prevent car from fire, on 28.3.2011, the car catched fire. We were fortunate to escape from the burning car.

    Myself and my family members are reluctant to use this defective Nano car in future.

    You are requested to keep the car with yourself and refund our hard earned money including taxes, duties, insurance etc.

    Hope you will do the needful and uphold TATA’s image.

    Regards,

    -ps sawant
    9869980190

    • Nabanita

      Mr. Sawant,

      I don’t know how to react. I’ve never met a Tata Nano owner, leave alone someone who’s car got burnt.

      “Your Mr Shubhunkar told us that this car was not upgraded with modification to make it safe against fire. They have now fitted some new kit to safeguard the car, and there will not be any such incidence in future.”

      This clarifies that your car was not modified.

      We did interact with Debasis and Sarika from the Corporate communications team on this thread, so hopefully they take a dekko, and communicate with you.

    • Sagar

      they dont know what the problem is.. we will help them figure it out..

  • Sagar

    Without performing proper tests and research, Tata Motors launched Nano in the Indian auto industry in March 2009. Since then 7 Tata Nano’s have caught fire due to unexplainable reasons.

    Clearly Tata Motors is using Indian buyers as their guinea pigs, this is the reason why they (Tata Motors) have not launched Nano in European market. Imagine what will happen to Tata Motors if even a single Nano catches fire in Europe?

    Tata Motors knows that Nano is not a car ready to be sold, but in India you can get away with anything.

    Agreed that Nano is the cheapest car ever, but that does not provide the manufacturer with the right to sell us a ‘fire machine’.

    • Nabanita

      Tata is of course very keen on the Tata Europa but then again it’s obviously tweaked to meet European standards, which brings forth another observation. When so many brands are bringing European standards to cars in India, why is the Nano not doing so.

      I wonder if it would be a better deal if Tata Europa launched in India?

      • Joseph Lanithottam

        Nano was always intended to be a car affordable for the Indian masses and to provide a safer option for families on motor bikes in India. It was never in competition with the European cars.
        Tata Nano does not even compete on features with the Swifts or the Vistas in the Indian market. Simply put it, Tata’s created a new category.

        Pre launch days of the Nano, people expected an Autorickshaw on 4 wheels because Auto’s were sold close to Rs 1 Lakh. Many CEO’s of Auto companies said this was impossible. The final car every one agrees is remarkable enough for people to expect European standards.

        As to cars catching fire; simply google “new XXXXX catches fire” replacing the Xs with any European, Japanese or American Brand of your choice, you will be surprised with the results.

    • kalpesh

      Sagar i completely agree to you opinion.

      I personally admire the car and I love it and I like it… But any such event is definitely an emotional trauma for an owner as well as an admirer.refering to a you tube video where news reporter asking tata representative on 3 cars cought fire the tata motors gentlemen says there was a short circuit in the combination switch. Well he is an engineer and not the end user… But when someone buys a car which is approved by some govt body and such incident occurs who is the responsible person…

      The buyer who bought it? The authority, which approved it? Or the quality control unit who inspected it at the end of production. Lot of people die in India in a road accident, however Just question to the gentleman answering. What would he have done if his kid was in one of these 3 cars…? “We need to learn from developed nations to make safe car for a simple reason “life is precious” no matter rich or poor.

      Tata was to launch Nano in North American market in 2010 its 2011 still awaited. Reasons strict safety concerns…. You need to cope up with speed on highways… Am sure with current car condition they are nowhere near to the market… I like the Europe model.. I know back in 2000 when my family bought Tata Indica we had lots of major manufacturing defects which resulted in a new tire every 7000-9000 kms.. For the first replacement company paid 70% of the cost but guys in 18 months I had total 24 tires changed. 9000 kms and the tires are gone.. Why is public used as testing objects… We know as per our economy we can’t afford expensive cars.. But its not true… We had Maruti 800 since 1970’s a bit expensive then Nano. Yes not as good mileage as Nano.. But haven’t heard of burnt cars… I rem Fiat didn’t work on their cars so the sales dropped and they lost customers…

      Kalpesh.

  • Wahab_Khan

    Let us use Tata as a Rocket to take people in outer space close to god. Freaking deathbed!!!!!

  • Sum4u17

    I personally feel that Mr. Tata has done a lot to make sure that a car fits the lower middle-class’ budget, or in other words ‘A Car Every Indian can AFFORD’. For the price it is offered currently, I think the aesthetics can be ignored to some extent but the fire mishaps need some serious attention (not like they are not going to do anything bout it). While I belong to the niche this car is targeted at, I don’t think I’ll ever buy it, simple reason being my love for Maruti Baleno n Audi 😉 To me, Nano seems to be the next Chetak.

    Cheers,
    Sumanta

  • atishb

    “There were also negative reports of the vehicle being too noisy. This could be because the car is fitted with a 4 stroke engine similar to that of an Activa bike.”

    LOL! Almost all engines in use today are four stroke, if only to meet the environmental regulations. And to draw conclusions from such a presumptuous article without any supporting facts and figures is absolutely preposterous.

    Regardless, the fact remains that the Nano’s image has taken a beating due to the fiery accidents, manufacturing defects or not. Tata really ought to do something about that!

    • Nabanita

      The figures are loud and clear for everyone to see. Tata sold 8707 Nano’s in March 2011. In 5 days, you can even check their April sales volume.

      • Joseph Lanithottam

        Nabanita, usually car sales or any other data is compared to the same period of the previous year. Financial results, inflation, sales you name it.
        Tata Motors forte has always been their diesel cars. Nano diesel I hear will be out later this year. I believe thats when Tata’s production will be stretched.

        • Nabanita

          We can only hope for the best. We have been doing a monthly comparison since Tata Nano launched. an figures haven’t been as high as we had estimated keeping in mind affordability of the car.

          The Tata Europa certainly looks magical, but there’s not much I can say about the diesel version yet. We don’t have enough data yet.

          • Joseph Lanithottam

            I was floored by the Tata Pixel concept built on the Nano platform. Tata Europa looks good but it isn’t that different than the humble Nano in the looks department at least.

            As for the monthly comparisons, that fair as long as you compare all cars sequentially. April is usually a bad month for car makers in India.

          • Nabanita

            In which case, the worst is yet to come.

          • atishb

            Sorry for posting at the wrong place earlier, and I couldn’t remove my earlier comment. Here goes again:

            So you’re essentially saying the Tata Nano hasn’t lived upto your estimates. That’s the entire point of this article – not whether sales are slipping, not an attempt to find out the truth behind the fires, but just your personal opinion based on the cars (in)ability to meet your expectations !

          • Nabanita

            I have no idea why you won’t look at the article as 1 piece. I was speaking to another commenter regarding a certain aspect, and you jump to a conclusion that this entire long drawn debate is about my estimation of sales figures???????????

            Really strange.

            If I were to give my personal opinion about the Nano, this article would have not have come into existence.

      • atishb

        So you’re essentially saying the Tata Nano hasn’t lived upto your estimates. That’s the entire point of this article – not whether sales are slipping, not an attempt to find out the truth behind the fires, but just your personal opinion based on the cars (in)ability to meet your expectations !

      • Joseph Lanithottam

        5 days is up. Tata Motors sold 10,012 Nano’s in April, the best figures ever.

        • Nabanita

          Yes. There is a separate article covering that. Keeping in mind that, Tata Nano sales, and incidents are being followed for months now, this one month’s sales report must be an encouragement for Tata Motors but this article wasn’t written to check increase in sales in a certain month because a lot of other companies too have had great sales records last month. This is a long time saga, and this discussion will need to be continued.

          • Joseph Lanithottam

            But sales increase in 5 consecutive months must count for something.
            Market is the best judge. A car sells because people find, it suits their needs. Simple.

            184% year on year growth is no joke. I doubt any car that is selling close to 10,000 cars a month in the Indian market can boast that.

            If this is a ‘long term” discussion, then this is true for all cars. Your title should be modified to”Are All Cars Failing in the Indian Auto Market.

          • sumit

            Time will eventually solve this because i can still recall the time when 800 launched dated back on 1983-84, the same amount of criticism , negative opinion hovered around that time. the popular one was if it hit by an amby what wld be the state of it. some 800 did struck in heavy shower. in earlier models under power engine also was on question beside terrible a/c.

            also hv any one noticed the drop in used car prices after nano?

  • Amrita Radhakrishnan

    Love your blog! I love the Nano, for the simple fact that it was the first of its kind – a car priced at a lakh with most facilities that higher end cars boasted, which therefore made it very appealing to the lower middle class sections of society. Personally, though, after the incidents of fire, I would not want to buy a Nano, simply because I fear for my safety. Quality and price always seem mutually exclusive of each other and this just proves it even more!

  • Dwai

    Regarding nano i think its a gr8 car. Without going into indepth into its details and jus from a driver’s(me)i think its a nice city car. Small easy to handle looks not all tat bad either. And esp for me whose parents are dead against two wheeler i think its perfect for me in terms of safety(which is better then tat of a two wheeler) and my pocket. It claims to give around 20km/l which is good. Ya though its sounds like a activa yet i think its a perfect car for people who always wanted to own one. I have driven one of my friends nano and i was really happy wit it.

    Dwai Majumdar

  • Priyanka

    Personally, I would not like to buy a Nano for myself as I have other preferences. But given the price, I think the Nano has established itself as an affordable family car. More Indians can probably now own a car which may have seemed like a distant dream in the past. However, safety could be a major cause of concern due to the fire incidents.

  • Goa On Wheels

    I Feel the Nano is a fantastic product. One should use the vehicle, try it , drive it and then may be give your opinion. Sad that poeple just judging the merely on the media reports.

    We own a Nano and much better then the entry level cars from the other manufacturers. It more sapcious, smaller and fuel efficient.

    The most important thing it is affordable.

    • Joseph Lanithottam

      The interior space in a Nano is better than an Alto or a Ford Figo. Of course the lack of boot space is a negative. You have got to sit inside one to realise that.

    • Rahum Verma

      Tata Nano is not a car, given its performance, comfort or anything. Its comes in auto rickshaw category. You believe its a fantastic product. I believe its a stupid idea by Ratan Tata.

      P.S I have driven my friend’s Tata Nano many a times so I am not judging by media reports.

      • Sumit

        And yr comments about 800/alto——— pls share

  • Romila

    I’m no car expert, but personally, I would not buy a Nano. True that it has fulfilled many Indian middle class dreams of owning a car. However, it seems to have faltered quite a bit. Security issues with the car is one of the major concerns. Also, the engine seems to be mighty noisy..the entire neighborhood knows when my neighbor leaves his home for work everyday!!

  • Abrahams’

    NANO is basically GIGA, a Giga mistake by Ratan Tata. At a press conference our very own Ratan’ is carried away with emotions, Result – promise to deliver a car under 1lac. It was this ‘words of mouth’ thing that led (read forced) Ratan Tata to come up with this otherwise stinky potty-shit.
    I experienced it for the first (& willingly the last) time in may last year. Looks = 0, Style=0, Performance= -10, Interiors = -5. It gave me a feel as if I am driving that in the rural-areas-found ‘JUGAAD’, and excellent vibrations were there even at 60km/h.
    Dunno about the guys above claiming Nano to have far better interiors than a FIGO, n that state of the art components…State-Of-The-Art??? May be I am drunk.
    I do completely agree with Rahum Verma when he said “I believe its a stupid idea by Ratan Tata”. The basic truth is that a good car was never made under a lakh or say a few lakhs and never can it be made. I cant even understand the psyche of the customers who own a Nano. They jus want 4 wheels parked in their homes. Even a kirloskar gen-set under the bonnet would do.
    Better spend ur lakh rupees on something worth owning, a Pulsar 220, Honda CBR 250R, Yamaha R1 would do. Your status would go up, ur confidence would go up, ur performance would go upp…NANO???
    Ratan Tata should have stayed home that day.

    • Rahum Verma

      this is the best comment on this thread. LOL

  • Abrity

    I’m no car expert. But I can surely tell the difference between an auto and a car. If I have to spend money I might as well pay a little more and get a proper car. I don’t think the Nano can survive the Indian roads :(

  • varun

    TATA Nano failing is like Indian engineering failing which must not happen and will not happen.

    • LMFAO

      This is not the point of patriotism. Its about truth and its concern for our own people’s safety.

      • kalpesh

        Going back to TATA Sumo, I rem it was over booked, and was a big hit.. But it had big problems with turning around & tires, we should ask the RTO to give the numbers how many died, then Tata Indica… completely tested on consumer and developed and now with VISTA – what happened to TATA Engine… Had to opt for Vista Engine… I was watching a YouTube video on TOP GEAR for jaguar production was funny… Then 2G spectrum… We see it on news everyday… now Nano. Lots of good videos on you tube.. Lots of good reviews on Tata motors website… But not a single negative review on their website.. Come on guys no product in this world can have 100% satisfaction… And I don’t understand what they want to prove. I rem Tata as TATA SALT… The company the country men trusted… and I really wonder why no other auto giant could come out with such a car in India…

  • Joseph Lanithottam

    Sales figures of the Nano for 2011.
    I see a consistent upward trend with almost 35% growth in just 4 months. You may or may not like the car, but people are buying it in increasing numbers.

    Jan 6703
    Feb 8262
    March 8707
    April 10,012

  • Pinkbeetleyellowmango

    The article is so negative that it is difficult to take it seriously.Infact it looks like a year old article.It is amazing that the same writers don’t dare write anything when well televised incidents of fire in other cars (the latest being a Skoda ).A bitter article

  • Nabanita

    It is really difficult to cover everything. There is no question of dare here, I try to cover the most I can, and sometimes a single fire, and brilliant sales record can’t be butchered only because I think a car burning is serious. Skoda has recorded a 90% sales growth last month. Obviously they’re doing something right.

    • Joseph Lanithottam

      Skoda Sales: 2446 units in April 2011 against 1285 in April 2010 (90 % Growth)
      Tata Nano Sales 10,012 units in April 2011 vs 3525 units in April 2010. (184% growth)

      If you are looking for sequential growth Skoda actually sold 20% less than it did in March. Where as Nano sales grew by more than 15%.

      Not a very convincing argument Nabanita. By your argument Tata Nano should be doing things doubly right.

      • Nabanita

        I’ve already put forth my point of view long back. For a car that cheap, the sales should have been much higher. The biggest USP Tata Nano had was it’s entry level price point, and that hasn’t helped.

        Great for Tata if they have recorded a184% growth rate but of all the people I spoke to, no one except 1 individual in my housing society got a Nano. I have asked people on Facebook, the shopkeepers, watchmen, office goers, and even random people at a rest/pub whether they’re buying a Tata Nano. No one said yes.

        Here’s another report that had caught my eye. I only just followed up month’s later

        http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2010-12-01/news/27603950_1_nano-units-total-passenger

        Another reference point was:

        http://www.scribd.com/doc/29462444/Report-on-TATA-NANO

        The following bit stood out in particular:

        4.5. TOTAL SALES ESTIMATION:
        The total sales had been estimated based on the following decisions
        ? It was estimated that the demand for the people‘s car shall be at least twice the
        demand for Maruti 800, the lowest end car.
        ?Initial projections were at about 500,000 cars per year.
        ? The basic reason was the conviction that the target price shall redefine the 4 – wheeler
        segment.
        ?The price decision of Rs 1 lakh is definitely going to make a lot many people transit to 4-wheeler fold and that shall explode the demand.
        ?Only 10% customers of 9 Million two wheeler market transit to 4-wheelers it
        shall amount to 50% of the passenger car market share.
        ? It was decided to set up plants with 5 lakhs cars per annum capacity and ramp the
        same up in stages, in line with increase in market demand

        • Joseph Lanithottam

          Your first link is for sales for the month of November 2010, I hope you have not based your article based on a 5 month old article. Current sales on Nano are 2000% (yes two thousand %) of those figures.
          The second article is a college thesis. I don’t think a professional writer should base an article on that.

          Simply use data thats available and make your assumptions based on that.

          Tata Nano is not a car meant for everyone, its an entry level car for those contemplating to move up from a 2 wheeler or maybe a second car in the family. It probably does not has aspirational value for people in your circle simply because they may be looking for a higher valued proposition.

          Its unrealistic to expect people looking to buy a Swift to look at Tata Nano as an option. The same goes for a person looking to buy a Porche, he wouldn’t consider a Swift because it is just because it is 10% of the cost of a Porche.

          This is a revolutionary product at a price point thats is creating a new market. People who could not afford to buy a car can now buy one. The success is in creating something that the big boys of the global automobile industry said was impossible.

          • Nabanita

            It is just 1 link amongst many that I have been following for months now. I don’t really see any positive reports anywhere. No one has actually written a report saying that Tata Nano is a game changer, dream car, etc.

            It’s no point overlooking things.

            This bit that I’m pasting yet again is what Tata Motors announced now and then.

            TOTAL SALES ESTIMATION:
            The total sales had been estimated based on the following decisions
            ? It was estimated that the demand for the people‘s car shall be at least twice the
            demand for Maruti 800, the lowest end car.
            ?Initial projections were at about 500,000 cars per year.
            ? The basic reason was the conviction that the target price shall redefine the 4 – wheeler
            segment.
            ?The price decision of Rs 1 lakh is definitely going to make a lot many people transit to 4-wheeler fold and that shall explode the demand.
            ?Only 10% customers of 9 Million two wheeler market transit to 4-wheelers it
            shall amount to 50% of the passenger car market share.
            ? It was decided to set up plants with 5 lakhs cars per annum capacity and ramp the
            same up in stages, in line with increase in market demand

            Also you have no respect for college research, so maybe you know a professor at Harvard who’s working on a Nano thesis. Please forward that to me, I will certainly look into it just as I have on many things.

            I don’t know too many people who can afford a Porsche but the lady who works for me, the security guards, shopkeepers, and all people in my society can. No one wants a Nano. Some of these people have a car and don’t want the Nano as a 2nd vehicle. The college students. who’re all on two wheelers don’t want a Nano either. Not a single student I asked would budge from a Dio or Pulsar.

            A writer has to keep everything in mind write from the start, so if you think I should bypass information that’s 5 months old, then that’s just your suggestion.

          • Joseph Lanithottam

            An article on sales figures has to refer to the latest figures. Common sense.

          • Joseph Lanithottam

            Guess which car made it to The TIME magazines “The Dozen Most Important Cars of All Time”.
            Just google this. Unable to paste the links as it is being moderated.

            Guess which Car made it to the Smithsonian Design Museum, in NY.

            Guess which car was on exhibition at the Cornell University, Ithaca, New York (just google Unpacking the Nano)

            All this attention is because the Nano is considered path breaking.

            Please cast a wider net for your research, after all 10,000 people bought the Nano last month even if no one you talked to bought a Nano yet. To put it perspective it sold more than all cars (8 models) of Chevorlet (GM India) put together. Sold more than all models of Ford India combined. More than Toyota India combined sales.

          • Nabanita

            It has to sell a lot more cars because it’s a lot cheaper. That’s simple logic.

            I was just citing a two links cause we’re moderating for links on comments. None of those sales figures are mentioned anywhere. It is one of the sources that have been referred to.

            I don’t think I have to guess anything, I have loads of feeds to scan through but appears you assume you’re the only one with info, or the ability to use Google.

            I’m really not here to play a guess game. The Time magazine report I think was published even before this site was started. Yups, clearly cause I remember looking at that as one of the early general posts for this blog. After that time, the great recession happened, new cars came to India, and many big and small events. So,why should I be stuck on that if according to you I shouldn’t refer to a 6 month old article according to you.

            It’s okay to check 2-3 year old references but not anything within the last 6 months.

            100,000 sales estimate by last quarter of 2010. 1They missed the target by 22,000 cars ( cancellations & delayed deliveries)

            Tata Nano launched on 23rd March. Deliveries began in mid April, and as such the sales growth reflects $184%. After 6 months of aggressive marketing, and trying to restore faith, one would expect that anyways.

            This number will also look brilliant in November 2011 because they only sold 509 cars in November 2010 of which 68 care were bought by Tata employees at a 2% company loan scheme.

            Such strong marketing for a 1 lakh car when it costs between between Rs.1.35 lakh to Rs.2.1 lakh, so, it simply can’t be advertised as a 1 lakh car any longer.

            The one positive that I can point to was a JD power research based post I did in September 2010, which warrants that the Tata Nano is to be the 2nd largest selling car in India in 2011. If that happens, great for Tata Motors. However, it’s already 4 months, and they’ve only just touched a5 figure sales mark.

          • Joseph Lanithottam

            To quote you, ” I don’t really see any positive reports anywhere. No one has actually written a report saying that Tata Nano is a game changer, dream car, etc.”
            So the TIME Magazine’s “”The Dozen Most Important Cars of All Time”” must change that a little.

            *——TIME Magazine’s, “The Dozen Most Important Cars of All Time” – Full List ——–*

            Model T Ford (1908-1927)
            Chrysler Airflow (1934-37)
            Volkswagen Beetle (1938-2003)
            The Ford 150 Pickup (1948-Present)
            Chevrolet (1955)
            Honda Civic (1972-present)
            Toyota Corolla (1966-present)
            British Motor Corporation Mini (1959-2000)
            Plymouth Voyager (1984-2000)
            The Sport Utility Vehicle (1990s-present)
            Toyota Prius (1997-present)
            Tata’s Nano (2008)

            Now when you quote sales figures to prove a point, simply picking a historic month with low sales doesn’t help. Here is the figures after November 2010.

            Dec 5,784
            Jan 6703
            Feb 8262
            March 8707
            April 10,012

            Sales have almost doubled from the Dec 2010 figures in 4 months.

            You claim it is advertised as a 1 lakh car. Please substantiate this with any current advertisement campaign.

            Nano was built to be priced at Rs 1 lakh car. It was sold to the first 100,000 people at Rs 100,000/- . Prices of all cars increased, So did Nano’s.

          • Nabanita

            You love that report, great but it’s just that I have moved from then to May of 2011.

            I’m not picking a month, I’m saying that November 2011 will see as phenomenal a sales growth of 184%. It’s common sense.

            It’s not almost, when you miss by 1500 cars, so, sales has not almost doubled yet. In fact, it’s not yet half as per Tata Motors estimates.

            Please check online as to what is the 1 lakh car. I’m not putting links here just because I can. It’ll be unfair.

            Tata Nano prices were increased last July(3-4%) the first time, when it was only made available for the first time from mid April 2010.

            The 2nd price hike came about on November 1st at an average of Rs. 9000 across Nano models, much before so many other cars faced a price increase. The price hike did not happen when all other car prices were being hiked By Tata, it happened way before.

            2 price hikes in less than a year of launching.

          • Sumit_ar1

            u should ask y r self why maruti after nearly decades of presence can’t be able to deliver/upgrade 800/alto up to nano’s dimension? also one should look for oil economy (that should be the crucial concern for every day college going instead of cycle) i got a nano cx delivering 16-17km/litre in city start stop condition. also suggest me a car in sub 5lakh category with out any flaw. if tata can manage to introduce another upper variant of lx with bigger tyre, better dash with glove compartment, tacho, power streening within 2.7 lakh, it would certainly be the killer for many models.

            i am sure once u got urself inside it and start the engine, view will be started to change(unless u r a ardent MAMTA fan) till then keep posting these girl like comments (aka cheap sales well
            ).

        • Pinkbeetleyellowmango

          May be Mr Tata didn’t have your society in mind when he built the car.It is meant for a new segment. My father in law sold his old Maruti and got the high end Nano.He is very happy with it …makes a little noise but so did his Maruti(He is also hard of hearing ..:P)I tried it..it is very comfortable to get in and out of…specially good for old people.Was surprised with the AC.For a car that cheap the AC was very effective in the April heat.Would love to buy one as a second car for city driving .May be when the electric one comes out.

          • Nabanita

            Yes, it appears they did leave out quite a few segments. For one, even Pune University which stands on about 411 acres, with multiple parking lots. Not a single Nano is parked, so, yes my society houses a mere 1000 people. And I don’t feel so bad, I ride a cycle.

            It’s great that you’ve had a wonderful experience, and so has your dad. That’s the idea of trying to be a people’s car. If more people felt this way, they’d be a huge success.

            An electric version is a great choice because EV’s can really work for us but the want of better infrastructure, and government support for EV ventures isn’t helping much.

      • kalpesh

        lolz… guys.. if your comparing sales.. why don’t you compare cars on fire..

        what are the numbers.. plz… ????

  • Vaibhav

    I believe the author should base his judgments on fact only before making any statements…
    The sales of Tata nano in April 2011 was 10,012 nos…Excellent nos..
    As a matter of fact 2nd highest for any car across all companies

    Tata Nano is a great car and has put an Indian company on world map…

  • Jerk Master

    Tata Nano is a car made by jerks for the jerks. Ratan Tata was jerking when the idea struck him and so he decided to make a car which cannot withstand jerks even when the car is an outcome of a stupid idea by a jerk.