When Ratan Tata shared his dream of families, which precariously perched on a scooter would happily squeeze into a Nano, he was very confident of his team of handpicked men. Tata proved the automobile cynics wrong by promising a INR 1 lakh car and fulfilling it. The company faced various technical, design problems and we are all aware of what happened in Singur, West Bengal, yet somehow the thought of having a game-changing car on their hands kept the Tata family motivated.
No one could predict what would happen later though. Tata motors estimated it would sell 2,50,000 Nanos every year since its launch in 2009 but the real figure is only 242,431. And this is all the Nanos sold in the past 4 years!!!
The company implemented offers and upgraded the car twice but still it failed to gather the momentum the company hoped it would. Now though, Tata Motors has completely reworked its strategy for the $ 1 billion Nano project.
With the 2013 Nano, the price went up slightly but a host of features were added — twin glove boxes, keyless entry, dashboard-integrated music system with Bluetooth connectivity, a bigger steering wheel and remote central locking. Features in the 2014 model will include electric power steering, a significantly more powerful engine.
To see Nano 2014 spy pictures (4wheelreviews exclusive)
In 2012, 60% of customers of the Nano were in the 25-44 age group. Tata plans to introduce variants of the Nano to encourage this age group as well as first-time buyers by giving the cars different levels of features.
The expected variants of the Nano will be:
- Nano Twist: Electronic power steering, improved NVH and better interiors.
- Nano Diesel: 800cc engine and better NVH levels.
- Nano Plus: 3 cylinder 1 litre engine, Bucket seats, improved AC, Disc brakes and a host of other features like LED Lights etc.
A hybrid version, auto gearbox and a fully electric version are also in the works. The electric car and the hybrid are being worked on at the company’s UK R&D base, the Tata Motors European Technical Centre.
In order to refresh the image of the car Tata also introduced the Awesomeness campaign a few months ago. The company hopes it will give the brand (Nano) an emotive personality.
Tata Motors is hoping to cross the 10,000 per month mark in the next 12-18 months, in comparison it sold only 1,111 units on an average per month in 2013.