Tata Nano catches fire in Sri Lanka

A Tata Nano being used by the Budget Taxi Company ignited on September 2nd in Sri Lanka’s Layden Nastian Mawatha Fort area. There were no casualties, due to the fact that there were no persons in the Tata Nano at the time of the fire, and the car is now a complete write off. There is no update available as of now regarding why the Tata Nano in Sri Lanka caught fire but it’s not an incident that’ll die without a debate.

Mr. Kelum Jayasumana, Director of Budget Taxi said that they are yet to get to the cause of fire.  According to initial reports the driver who started the car complained that the car suddenly came to a standstill and burst into flames when he tried to restart it. Tata Motors officials from India were due to arrive in the country on Friday for further investigations.  Tata Motors has been responsible for many a successful vehicle not just in the Indian car market but globally too. As such, random incidents of a Tata Nano catching fire need to be carefully evaluated so these isolated incidents can be put to rest once and for all.

Instances of Tata Nano bursting into flames have already been reported from Gujarat, Lucknow, New Delhi and Mumbai. Sales figures for the Tata Nano have been hurting for a while now, with only 1202 units being sold in India in August 2011. In this context, it should be remembered that a company statement in August did ascertain that “Production at Sanand plant has resumed after a temporary suspension for about a fortnight.” Production suspension at the Tata Motors Sanand plant was attributed to rationalizing of inventory, and maintenance and. As such, the two week shutdown can be attributed for production loss, and resultantly reduced sales figures as inventory with dealers was a story of short supply. However, that may not justify decreasing Tata Nano sales figures for the past few months.

In a year on year comparison, cumulative sales for the Tata Nano is pegged at 26,441 units for the year 2011 until August. This equates to a 17% reduction in sales figures as compared to the same period in 2010 wherein the company sold 31,882 Tata Nano units. While Tata Nano remains the smallest small car in the Indian car market, the Hyundai Eon will be launched soon to take on the Maruti Alto. And while these cars may be a tad bit bigger to directly compete with the Nano, it’s not something Tata Motors can ignore. Jayasumana added that Indian cars had faulty silencers which Tata engineers had worked on before dispatching these small cars to Sri Lanka. Further details and causes would be available only after inspection by Tata officials.