Too early for its time? It’s a dead-end for Tata’s ‘people’s car’
Ten years since its groundbreaking launch, Tata Motors’ Nano has reached the end of the road.
Tata Motors has announced that it will be ending Nano’s production. However, there are reports that say that it will still be available on an “order basis.”
“The Nano’s death was confirmed by production numbers: Tata Motors Ltd. produced 1 unit in June, down from 275 in the same month last year. Exports were zero, versus 25 in June 2017,” a report read.
But why did it fail to penetrate the market?
First, there were safety issues regarding Nano after reports came in on units catching fire and conversies surrounding its supposed crash test. The car’s production was also way behind its schedule.
“While consumers may be value-conscious, cutting costs to the bone in pursuit of a gimmicky claim to fame is no use if the end result is a second-rate vehicle with a tendency to catch fire,” Automotive News said.
Other automotive experts believe that owning the “cheapest car” in the market was not at all inspiring.
“A car does more than taking you from point A to point B. It is an aspirational symbol. Prospective buyers felt that to be seen owning the ‘cheapest’ was to acquire a lowly social status,” a report read.
Soon, the Wire reported that the price gap between Nano and the cheapest car in the market narrowed.
Despite this, many are reeling the loss of the so-called people’s car, which was reportedly “roomy” for such a small car, extremely robust, highly fuel efficient, and emits very low carbon emission.
“With this kind of a pros and cons balance Nano should not have lost out but why did it? Was it too early for its times? A key lesson from failed start-ups is: Worse than being wrong is being early,” the Wire added in its report.
Still, Tata remains optimistic about Nano’s future, adding that a “fresh investment” is exactly what they need to survive.
The Wire said, “it will take time before the unbearable pollution in Indian cities will make people realise that it will be best not to own a car and rely on efficient public transport. Or if you must have a car then a small car will be preferred. Then, perhaps, the day for an electric Nano will come.”