World’s cheapest car, Tata Nano, is being ‘refreshed’ to realise its full potential, says group chairman Ratan Tata.
“We were not prepared to market the car as we should have. I think that has a lot to do with the fact that momentum got lost,” he told PTI in an interview.
He listed out the reasons due to which Nano, nick-named ‘The people’s car’, could not realise its full potential as the momentum got lost in initial years due to issues like plant transfer and insufficient advertising campaign and dealership network.
Asked whether these issues are being addressed, Tata said, “It is being addressed now and I think we will succeed. It is a three-four year old product (and) we have to do something to refresh the product, which we are also doing.”
To a query as to what went wrong with Nano, which was promised as ‘people’s car’ with a price tag of Rs one lakh and that hit the road in 2009, he said there were “several things”, including the events in West Bengal.
“It caused us to move and caused us to build another plant. That cost us another year from the time of the launch which created a lot of excitement and three months from that launch date, the car should have been on roads.
“Instead, because of those events it went on the road a year and half after that event,” Tata said.
Nano was originally planned to roll out from a plant in Singur, West Bengal, but the plant had to be shifted to Sanand in Gujarat after political protests at its earlier plant. The first Nano rolled out from a factory in Pantnagar in Uttarakhand in 2009.
‘No possibility of manufacturing Jaguar and Land Rover in India’
Ruling out any possibility of manufacturing Jaguar and Land Rover in India in the near future, Tata group chief Ratan Tata has said that some “silly taxes” make even their assembly here costlier than the imports. Tatas are building a plant in China which will export these cars to different parts of the world and have been invited by Saudi Arabia as well.
“India is still making it somewhat difficult for us to offer it,” he said when asked if JLR could be manufactured in India.
“Unfortunately, today if we were to manufacture here, it would cost more than the assembled one,” said Tata.