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Tata wants to get rid of “cheapest” tag for the Nano

Tata Motors builds what is considered as the cheapest car in the world, the Nano. Tata launched the Nano in 2009 at a tag of around $2,500, attracting low-income households in India who could only afford motorcyles. Ratan Tata, the carmaker’s chairman emeritus who championed the development of the car, is now rethinking the “cheap” tag of the Nano.

Tata remarked at the South Carolina Automotive Summit that the Nano got branded as India’s cheapest car, not the most affordable or the best value for the money. He noted that the Nano gained the stigma of “I don’t want to be seen in the cheapest car. My neighbors will think I have no money.”

Tata, who retired as chairman in December 2012, said the company is trying to reposition the Nano into a real car “with more bells and whistles” that would stand out in the marketplace. During an on-stage interview with Automotive News Editor-in-Chief Keith Crain, Tata quipped that he pushed for development of the Nano to provide low-income Indian families a safer transportation alternative than motorcycles.

Read the entire article Tata wants to get rid of “cheapest” tag for the Nano

Tata Motors expected to launch more expensive versions of the Nano

The image of Tata Motors’ Nano car as a cheap car that’s an alternative to a motor scooter didn’t actually do much good. That’s why Tata Motors is expected to launch more expensive models that are based on the Nano, the compact car launched in 2008 that only cost $2,000. It’s true that the Nano caught the world’s attention but the market in India didn’t quite match that enthusiasm with sales.

Since deliveries started in July 2009, only 229,157 Nanos have been sold. Sales in March 2013 were 86% lower than in the previous year. According to Tata Managing Director Karl Slym, the Nano won’t be discontinued but instead, it will get improvements meant to revive the model and for its prices to be nearer to those of its competitors.

Slym said that the Nano's marketing "didn't gel with anybody." Those who drove scooters weren’t drawn in since they didn’t see Nano as a real car but as something that’s between a bike and a car. It also didn’t appeal to car owners since it was marketed as a two-wheeler replacement.

Read the entire article Tata Motors expected to launch more expensive versions of the Nano

Tata Nano will get an 800 cc engine

The Tata Nano will be getting its third makeover since its launch in 2009. Known as the cheapest car in the world, the Nano will be getting an 800 cc engine. Meanwhile, the company is also thinking about offering a diesel option. The makeover was planned in response to poor sales, which fell to a new low in November. The company set a goal of 10,000 units but it only sold 3,500 cars. Insiders said that an all-new Nano may be released 12 months from now, priced at about Rs 2.5 lakh for the base petrol version.

This new version is expected to rival Hyundai Eon and the Maruti Alto. Analysts said that the diesel option is a good move. Basudeb Banerjee of brokerage Quant Capital said that the market will have a more accepting attitude of a Nano 800 cc diesel.

He also thinks that Tata Motors will also be able to raise its volumes with this variant. What he points out as a deterrent though is the brand positioning of the Nano. According to company officials, the company won’t phase out the current 624-cc version even with its poor performance. It will still have the People's Car tag while the new model will be marketed at the more aspiring consumers.

Read the entire article Tata Nano will get an 800 cc engine

Tata plans new marketing push for Nano to recover from fire controversy

The chairman of Tata Motors, Ratan Tata, disclosed that he plans to re-promote the budget Nano minicar, after sales declined following fire incidents involving at least three cars. In an interview with Bloomberg TV India, Tata said that the Nano is something he would “love to make successful,” as it has yet to reach its full potential. Tata remarked there has to be another push to “make Nano what it can be." The Nano, conceived by Tata as the world's cheapest car, carries a starting price of INR141,898 ($2,565). It was developed as an upgrade option for millions of Indian motorcycle owners. Tata Motors launched the Nano in 2009. Sales plunged to just 509 units in November 2010 after the vehicles caught fire.

Although Tata Motors said that the fires were isolated cases, sales of the Nano continue to fall behind pricier models. Tata decided to develop the Nano after seeing a family riding on a scooter. Issues troubled the Nano even before its rollout. The carmaker was forced to desert an almost-complete plant in West Bengal state due to violent protests by farmers demanding the return of land purchased for the site.

After the fire incidents, Tata Motors lengthened warranties in December 2010 to four years or 60,000 kilometers (37,290 miles) and began offering up to 90 percent financing through Tata Motors Finance Ltd. The hike in borrowing costs, however, somewhat hurt the pockets of consumers that Tata Motors targeted to make an upgrade from motorcycles. Those target consumers chose to acquire cheaper two-wheelers, affecting sales of the Nano.

Read the entire article Tata plans new marketing push for Nano to recover from fire controversy

Tata Motors has introduced an updated Nano model as it seeks to enhance the sales of its product that has been falling below estimates. Since the Nano (the world's cheapest car) was launched in April 2009, about 130,000 units have been sold. This four-seater car is priced at 140,000 rupees ($2,730). To launch the Nano, Tata did a ton of publicity in India. The factors cited in the poor sales include rising input costs that have prompted the company to raise the price.

Tata also had to transfer production to an alternative site due to a land dispute at model's original factory. Last November, Tata gave Nano owners the option to put in safety protection in their vehicles after local media said that seven cars had caught fire.

The company said that this doesn’t qualify as a recall since the fires were specific to the units. In a statement, Tata said that the new Nano offers an improved fuel efficiency, a more robust engine and fresh interiors.

Read the entire article Tata updates the Nano for the 2012 model year

Mumbai, India-based automaker Tata Motors Ltd. recently said that its Nano (the world's cheapest car) will be available through Tata's 874 outlets across India. The Nano went on sale nationwide after easier financing and lengthier warranties helped sales recover from a record low.

Nano sales had been limited to 12 states as Tata Motors worked to meet the initial orders and increased output at a new factory. The Nano costs as cheap as INR137,555 in New Delhi.

Its sales increased more than tenfold in December 2010 from a month earlier after the Nano’s television advertisements started airing and after Tata added more sales points in smaller towns and presented an INR99 ($2)-a- month maintenance option.

Read the entire article Tata Motors extends Nano sales throughout India

Tata Motors Ltd. recently said it will fast-track loans of up to 90 percent to the buyer of its Nano minicar through its vehicle financing arm Tata Motors Finance.

A Tata Motors statement said Tata Motors Finance will provide the loans within 48 hours against verifiable documents for Nano, which was deemed the world's cheapest small car at $2,500 at the time of its launch in April 2009.

The financing offer follows a clutch of benefits recently announced, including a four-year warranty on the Nano and a maintenance contract option for INR99 a month (about $2), amid plummeting sales.

Read the entire article Tata will fast-track loans of up to 90 percent to buyer of its Nano minicar

Sales of Tata Motors Ltd.’s Nano have been dropping but now, the manufacturer of the world’s cheapest car faces another setback. Owners of the Tata Nano car, which was launched in 2009, will be contacted and will be offered the option to install safety protection in the vehicles. Last year, a few of these vehicles had caught fire.

In a statement, Tata said that about 70,000 owners will be offered the option of installing "additional safety protection in the exhaust system and the electrical system." Tata emphasized that this move is not a recall, explaining that the fires were specific to the units.

Tata added that the investigation conducted by a group of internal and international experts has once again concluded that the reasons for the incidents in few Tata Nano cars are specific to the cars which had such incidents.

Read the entire article Tata Motors offers safety upgrades for Nano after 7 cars catch fire

There was a sneak preview of the Tata Nano Europa in London this week that was attended by Autocar's Steve Cropley. Earlier this year, the European version of the Tata Nano was shown at the Geneva Motor Show and since then, consumers had been waiting eagerly for its arrival expected in 2011.

In India, the world's cheapest car was launched earlier this year and carries a price tag of less than £2000.

However, they had to take into account the increased cost of making it Europeanized (more creature comforts, improved crash test safety). It is likely that the car will cost from £4000 - £5000 in the UK.

Read the entire article Tata Nano Europa: details and specs revealed

The Tata Nano will come with the standard and deluxe variants and both will offer wide ranging body color finish and elements so that the car can be modified to the owner's own liking.

The drivertain of the Nano is an all-aluminum 623cc powerplant that come with only two cylinders generating 33hp (25kW) with a maximum speed of 60mph (96km/h).

Thin-pressed metal make up its bodywork, and it is equipped with modern safety elements like crumple zones, seat belts and intrusion-resistant door.

Read the entire article Tata Nano goes on sale for $2,000

Tata Motors chose to play down the three incidents reported of Nanos catching fire within the past month, insisting that there will be no recalls since there is no technical or design fault with the car.

A total of 7,500 Nanos have been released so far and it's possible that the company may have to make checks on all of them.

The Hindustan Times report lists the incidents: a Nano caught fire in Ahmedabad last month followed by two similar incidents in Lucknow and Delhi. The incidents have cast serious doubts about the safety of the vehicle.

Read the entire article Tata Motors may make checks on all Nanos sold until now