Launching the “world’s cheapest car,” the Nano, into one of the world’s fastest growing auto markets, India, looked like a surefire concept back in 2009. Today, it looks stupid. Like many surefire concepts, the Nano turned out to be a dud. Says India’ Economic Times:
“After several years of disappointing sales, it has now become clear that the snubnosed hatchback’s unique selling point — its price — was actually a commercial sticking point.
Rather than embracing the Nano, the status-conscious consumer base that was its prime target has largely shunned the “cheap” tag of the $2,800 vehicle and opted for slightly pricier rivals, or second-hand vehicles costing the same.”
The Nano plant, with an annual capacity of 250,000 units, is running at less than 50 percent capacity. It produces only 10,000 a month, says R Ramakrishnan, business head of Tata Motors passenger cars. Oddly enough, Tata sells about twice as many pricey Jaguars and Range Rovers through its acquired JLR division.
Tata boss Ratan Tata conceded this month that mistakes had been made, and that selling the car as a “poor man’s” vehicle was wrong .