Tata Motors’ Sanand plant was commissioned in January 2010 at an investment of Rs 2,000 crores. It was built exclusively for the production of Nano and had a capacity of producing 240,000 units annually. But as the demand for Nano did not meet expectations, Tata Motors soon found themselves creating an inventory pile-up, which can be seen in the image above (file photo from 2013). Tata Motors did not reveal how much is the current inventory, but they have managed to bring down inventory levels significantly this year.
Even with declining demand, Tata has not given up on Nano. The Nano of today is not the same Nano which was launched first. Today, the Nano comes with features that makes it a worthy competitor to leaders like Maruti Alto and Hyundai Eon. But even then the sales have not been as per expectations. The company is now trying to refurbish Nano’s image in the public from world’s cheapest car to that of a chic city car.
And they have managed to see positive results. The launch of new Nano Twist with power steering saw an increase of up to 15% in Nano sales this year. And with new variants of Nano lined up in the future, Tata is sure that the Nano sales will only grow in India.
New Tata Nano variants include Nano Twist Active, and Nano Plus (Nano diesel variant project is most probably shelved). The first of these to be launched is the Nano Twist Active. This variant will come with restyled front and rear bumper, LED headlamps, disc brakes, better air conditioning, improved NVH levels, redesigned dashboard and an openable boot. Engine will continue be the same 624 cc as seen on the current variant. As far as Nano Plus is concerned, it will come with a new 1.05l petrol turbocharged engine, with the same features as seen on the Nano Twist Active.
The Sanand plant is currently making the necessary updates to accommodate the production of the new Nano Twist Active. This will be launched by Diwali 2014. Apart from this, the Sanand plant of Tata is also getting ready to produce new hatchback and sedan which are as of now codenamed as Kite 4 and Kite 5.
In addition to this preparations, Tata also has an inventory pile-up of Nano which has resulted in them shutting down operations at Sanand for 35-40 days.
via Economic Times