Home » Business » Auto » Nano’s image going up in flames! What now?
Last updated: June 30, 2014 at 8:39 am

Nano’s image going up in flames! What now?

The 1 lakh car!

The most revolutionary vehicle in the history of the world!

The cheapest vehicle made on this planet!

A vehicle which could move India into the top of the ranks of auto manufacturing hubs in the world!

While talking about “Tata Nano”, all of us sometime or the other must have said the above statements to our friends and families. But two years after Ratan Tata’s first announcement of his dream to see every India owning a car, Nano has brought more harm to their image rather than anything else.

Nano was supposed to be the cheapest car at a price of Rs 1 lakh. It aimed to woo the segment of buyers who opted for a bike to pay a few thousand bucks and own a car. With cute looks, basic features and some innovative engineering, Nano was able to woo one and all. More than 2 lakh people pre–registered for the car without even testing it! Now that may be something of a first. Isn’t it? Pre–hype anyone?

But then from there it was all downhill. The Singur agitation due to Mamta Banerjee caused the closure of that plant and movement of the Tata’s to finally Sanand in Gujarat. Along with increasing costs, this also resulted in a lot of loss of time for the people who had already pre–booked their vehicles.

At Sanand itself there were problems and the capacity was really low. This resulted in hugely delayed deliveries. When people started using the car was the time the real problems started coming to the fore.

First there were incidents of Nano’s catching fire due to faulty wiring and manufacturing defects. Then came the complaints about its engine making a lot of noise. Now interestingly the engine is that of a 4 – stroke motorbike like Activa at the bottom of the vehicle rather than the front. Is that the way it should have been designed? I don’t think so!

Tata-Nano-Fire

There have also been problems related to arrangement of the finance since 2-wheeler financiers categorise it as a car. The lengthy booking process as one has to still order it from the dealers is another headache. The production of Nano has come down by 80% at the plant.

Nano was positioned as a vehicle for the people who bought a bike so that they could spend a bit more to get a car. But sadly due to the above problems, this has not really happened. Many people don’t perceive it as a car as it looks more like a toy. And if we analyse an Indian consumer, he / she always likes to show off his / her purchase.

The drop in sales continuously for a period of four months from the high of 9,000 units in July to a low of 509 units in November (lower than Mercedes) has set the alarm bells ringing among the who’s who at Tata Motors.

Reducing the lengthy booking process by setting up a large number of kiosks at dealerships in rural areas is a very important step Tata is willing to take. They also have plans to soon start selling Nano directly from the showroom which would make it easier for people to avoid the very high waiting time.

Tata is also partnering with banks and other financial institutions to better help customers in arranging and managing the finance. For certain categories, they would also be able to exchange their bikes in retain for a Nano.

But then all this is ok. These are all measures which may not help in the long term. Tata has to find a way to get rid of the fact that people find Nano unsafe due to the incidents of it catching fire. When it was being made, everyone was left wondering as to how a car can come so cheap. There were murmurs of cheap equipment being used.

And now Tata’s core values of TRUST and QUALITY look set to be in the line of fire if they don’t do something about this soon!

Nano can rise from the depths but for that actions have to speak louder than words!

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13 Comments

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  • indian auto scenario resembles those of gladwell’s tipping points. its pretty funny but today too, one looks back again in his rear-view if he spots nano back there. but the market sentiment hasn’t been good at all right from the beginning when the computer based pickings were used, i believe a huge majority of those who lost out in the process then, never came back(aspiring segment, thus moody and various other factors). then all these engg problems sprang up, volleys by media, and sales figures vouch for the rest. and yeah the author is damn right about the nano blot on the huge mantle of brand-tata.

  • My daughter has a Nano, in use for the past five months, perfectly happy. The Nano rep repeatedly checked if everything is fine, came home personally without asking, checked up everything on his own more than once. Financing by loans is an issue between the borrower and financing company. Unlike other vehicle companies Tata does not influence the financiers to give loans first and go after them with goonda’s if instalment payment does not come in.”Tata Nano goes up in flames” is a hype – media imposed. You are wearing black glasses. Try to be objective and not be prejudiced. It is extremely easy for anyone to tarnish the image of others. In the case of persons who paid full amount in advance Tata has paid reasonable Interest for all delays right upto the date of delivery. What you writing is fiction.

  • The problem with nano has been mostly the issue of financing. The kind of people who are applying to buy the car are not getting approved for loans for some reason or the other. That is further delaying the acceptance of the car. Hope Tata works on that aspect and not to mention after sales service.

    • You have hit the nail on the head when you describe the problems Nano faces currently with respect to finance and after sales service..But then one can’t count Tata out until they are really out..

  • dude pls visit: http://tatamotors.com/our_world/press_releases.php?ID=619&action=Pull nano is readily available in 12 states- kerala, karnataka, UP, Maharashtra, WB, Gujarat, Bihar, Jharkhand, MP, Punjab ,AP & chhatisgarh as far as i know, nano is available at all tata motors showrooms and tata has a very good network, so where’s the question of ‘poor distribution’. the link also answers the ‘financial issues’. i myself got a good loan from hdfc bank within a day. as far as targetting 2-wheeler segment is concerned, i think winter is a season when many 2-wheeler owners will realise the need to own a nano.it’s killing & chilling to ride a bike in winter!! regarding the fire issues, i think media has overblown this issue.even the laptop & mobile u use can blast anytime. even maruti vehicles catch fire http://www.cardekho.com/india-car-news/maruti-suzuki-hit-by-quality-issues-this-time-1663.htm also toyota (known for its quality) has been bugged with such incidents : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8JEqr6mqZQ but still these products sell like hot cakes & these are accepted by people (both are very reputed car makers known for their quality). so it’s unfair to pin-point only nano for its safety issues. yes there have been incidents & i m sure tatas would be working overboard to rectify those. But i m very satisfied with my nano & would recommend all to go ahead & buy it without any fear. Tatas have made nation proud by making such a revolutionary product & we all should support them in this & not go criticizing on the basis of some hearsay by some tom, dick & harry.

  • Yes nano has definitely lost all the hype and charm it once created. The fire catching issues has really set fear in minds of people. And not only that loads of people are complaining about engine issues. But sadly what more to expect form a one lakh car

  • i have a nano and it’s a BRILLIANT CAR!!! Probably the best car from Tata stable till now. As far as the the author’s technical knowledge is concerned, i m afraid he should 1st research properly before writing anything. Nowadays all automobile engines are 4 stroke (be it 2-wheeler or 4-wheeler) coz of their efficiency & performance, secondly 2-wheeler engines are air-cooled while car engines are water-cooled (as lot of heat is produced). nano is also water-cooled…thermal designing of both the air-cooled & water-cooled engines are diiferent. Thirdly, engine is not at the bottom but at the REAR, coz of which nano has lots of legroom.Many world famous cars have had rear engines, most famous being VW Beetle. How does it matter whether engine is at front or rear?? I am using the car since last 2 months (1500km) and i m loving it..awsome performance & mileage (21kmpl) on city roads and about 23 on highways.

    • Sir, I agree that your technical knowledge is better than mine..Would surely take your point of doing more research before writing. But I would still like to point out the following points which need to be changed soon by Tata – 1. Their hope of converting 2-wheeler buyers into car owners hasn’t materialized (As put before in the article: 8 million 2 – wheeler owners against very less units sold of Nano) 2. Large amount of waiting time for Nano 3. Poor distribution network and financial issues are two things which are currently affecting Nano pretty badly. And finally if they manage to correct all the above, they need to change the perception of Nano being an unsafe car after the few fire accidents. Changing such a perception will be the toughest of all!

      • Mr. Aseem Rastogi, I would like to inform you that whatever the problems NANO had previously, it’s now solved by putting precise Research and practices. NANO is always been a great vehicle to drive….if you want to know exactly what NANO is, Please feel free to ask. You will realize that its a small car having great technical features and specs.

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