New Delhi, April 15: A project that had all potential to be a revolution. However, for reasons unknown, it became one of the biggest fiascos instead. Tata Motors has declared that it sold just 174 Nano cars in March. A parts supplier to Tata said discussions on Nano have stopped and that the company is focussing on platforms like Tiago.
In the year ended 31 March, the Nano’s sales fell 64% to 7,591 units. Nano has been a troubled product for the country’s fifth largest car maker Tata Motors since the past several years. The company made numerous attempts to revive demand but the loss-making project, which stands to get terminated, failed to muster positive growth.
“The Nano product development concept called for car below Rs1 lakh but the costs were always above this,” wrote former chairman of Tata Group Cyrus Mistry in a 25 October letter to the Tata Sons board, pointing out that “there is no line of sight to profitability for the Nano and any turnaround strategy for the company requires shutting it down. Emotional reasons alone have kept us away from this crucial decision”.
In its current form, the Nano will not meet advanced emission standards which will be implemented in 2020. Nor is it equipped with advanced safety features that will soon become mandatory. In the near-decade since the car’s launch, say analysts, low cost entry-level models have lost their appeal and customers are trading up to bigger, premium hatchbacks and compact sports utility vehicles of all sizes. The share of small models is expected to reduce further as the new safety norms kick in.