Designed to be the world’s cheapest car, the Tata Nano is supposed to compete with scooters and three-wheelers rather than full-priced, global-brand vehicles. But the Nano has already seen several price increases since the target MSRP of $2,500 was announced, and the price in India for a base-level Nano is now about $2,870. And when you talk about such low prices, even small increases can wreak havoc on expected volumes, and as a result the Nano is turning into something of a flop (helped along by its pyromania problem).
Apparently Year-To-Date sales of the Nano were just 29,377 units through September, down from last year’s 37,402 result over the same period. In order to make up for weak sales in India, Tata has begun planned exports to neighboring countries, but that effort is running into problems as well. Abdul Matlub Ahmad, director of Nitol Motors, the Nano’s Bangladeshi distributor tells the AFP
A lot of people came to us for booking at the fair. At least 23 people confirmed their interest. But we’ve deferred launch of Nano at the last moment as we’re seeking a re-look at the price, which some say is too high.
The price? $7,900 after a 132% tax on imported cars. No wonder Bangladesh’s auto market is dependent on some 30k annual imports of reconditioned cars. Meanwhile, the Nano’s promise of becoming “India’s Model T” seems to be fading fast. But at least Tata has done something Ford was never able to do: make money on Jaguar and Land Rover…