Tata Admits Mistakes with Nano

Jan. 5, 2012
Company said it wasn't ready with an advertising campaign or a dealer network.

The boss of India's Tata Group conceded on Jan. 5 that the company had made mistakes with its Nano, the world's cheapest car, saying it now wanted to change the perception it was a "poor man's" vehicle.

The 140,000-rupee (US$2,650) Nano has failed to take off as expected since its launch in 2009, with analysts blaming poor marketing and a series of technical problems including some highly publicized engine fires.

Sales have been a fraction of the 25,000 a month the company once expected, falling to a low of just 509 units in November 2010. In December, the company sold 7,466 units, a rise of 29% from the same month the previous year.

"I don't think we were adequately ready with an advertising campaign or a dealer network," said chairman of the Tata conglomerate Ratan Tata, referring to the early days of sales.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Auto Expo show in New Delhi, he added: "I think we wasted an early opportunity but have not, in fact, seen much in terms of competition for the pricing of the car."

Tata, chairman of the Tata Group which owns Tata Motors, added that he was still confident about the car's potential in a country where millions are moving into the middle classes.

Analysts say the Nano was seen as a vehicle for Indians to buy once they could afford to upgrade from a motorbike, meaning it failed to appeal to the status-conscious and aspirational new middle classes.

"We've never pushed it as a poor man's car but an affordable, all-weather, family car," Tata said, adding that "whatever stigma has been attached to it, we will undo going forward."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

Popular Sponsored Recommendations

Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics Guidebook for Engineers

Sept. 27, 2023
Leverage Domain Expertise to Drive Optimization – Without Needing a Data Scientist.

Shifting Your Business from Products to Service-Based Business Models: Generating Predictable Revenues

Oct. 27, 2023
Executive summary on a recent IndustryWeek-hosted webinar sponsored by SAP

How to Build Zero-Cost On-Site Solar and Storage Projects

Nov. 25, 2023
The Inflation Reduction Act offers tax credits, incentives, and financing that enable no-cost projects. In Enel’s eBook, discover the critical role that incentives play in your...

Beware Extreme Software

Sept. 24, 2023
As a manufacturer, you understand the importance of staying ahead of the curve and being proactive in your approach to technology. With the rapid pace of change in the industry...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!