It’s not often a car company, or any group of people for the matter, will admit mistakes – particularly billion dollar mistakes. That’s why the launch of the all-new Tata GenX Nano is refreshing. Based on former CEO Ratan Tata’s dream of moving Indians who transport their entire families on scooters and motorcycles into safer – albeit, basic – four wheeled automobiles, the very fact the original 2009 Nano was the least expensive car on sale anywhere in the world proved to be an albatross around the Nano’s tiny neck. Even Indians aspiring to the middle class of a developing country, it turns out, aspire to be seen in something other than the cheapest car in the world. They’d rather buy a used Maruti Suzuki Alto 800, the hatchback that more or less defines India’s entry level car segment. In recognition of that reality, the new GenX Nano will now be positioned as an entry level hatchback to more directly compete with the Alto 800, Hyundai Eon and the newly announced Renault Kwid. (Read More…)
Hitting showrooms Tuesday, Tata Motors announced its latest variant of the Nano city car: the GenX Nano.
Additional product for one brand. Less intervention at another.
A move toward high-riding vehicles helped one brand. A move away from traditional cars harmed the other. These two factors are made all the more apparent when one brand employs a full lineup of SUVs/crossovers and the other has yet to bring its first utility vehicle to market.
One brand’s message has been artfully constructed over a few decades; the other’s has been muddied for at least a generation. (Read More…)
Having done well with Jaguar Land Rover in its portfolio, Tata Motors is now turning to its premium subsidiary for its own foray into passenger cars and SUVs.
A recent stay in India has enabled me to get a much better understanding of the Indian new car market and its dynamics which have very unique characteristics. Understanding India is essential in today’s worldwide automotive scene – a lot of the innovation taking place here will soon be applied to other developing markets (like Africa).
Debuting their first new cars in four years, Tata took the wraps off the Bolt and Zest subcompacts, which are designed specifically to sneak in under four meters in length, to get around vehicle taxation schemes.
The Ford Mondeo based X-Type failed to get Jaguar a foothold in the segment that is usually defined by the BMW 3 Series and the cars that compete with the 3. Now the Financial Times has reported that Jaguar will be launching an entire line of entry level luxury vehicles for that critical segment and that the new cars, said to be ready for sale about two years from now, will benefit from Jaguar’s expertise with lightweight aluminum structures.
Although Jaguar Land Rover has made tentative forays into building cars in India (such as building the Jaguar XF from CKD kits), the British luxury group, now owned by Tata, is apparently on the cusp of establishing full production in India.
The revived Datsun brand will get its first plant in India. Renault-Nissan announced plans for a new factory in India, and will invest 250 million euros to build the plant.
I believe that it was over text message, three years ago, that my then-girlfriend proposed we take a month-long trip to India together. To a Westerner, life on the Indian subcontinent is a feast for the senses, rife with sights, smells, sounds, and tastes that bear no comparison prior to visiting. For her, the trip would be something of an opportunity to clear our heads and devote attention to a relationship that was based on spontaneity and excitement, as well as to take in the redolence and beauty of Indian culture.
For me, however, it was much simpler. Fresh into my career as an automotive journalist, it would, naturally, be all about the cars.