In India, a car is rather a luxury than a mean of transport. This is proven by the fact that India has more two-wheelers than four wheelers. One day, Ratan Tata was traveling in his luxury sedan through the busy streets of Mumbai. His car stopped at a signal and he saw a family of four riding on a two seater scooter. The family fell from the scooter suddenly while the red light turned into green. This gave Ratan Tata the very bright idea to create an affordable car that every could afford in India. He thought a budget of one lack can be afforded by most of the people.
However, thinking something and creating something has a big difference. The engineers at the Tata facility to make a whole new car under such tight budget. As the dream was to create a new car with four seats and four doors. However, Tata successfully managed to manufacture a car that comes under the budget of one lakh. They faced many difficulties in the manufacturing process but they made it in the end.
This low-cost car was specifically aimed at the middle-class people across the country. But the sales figures didn’t go well as they had expected. Even Tata’s own Indica range sold better than any Nano model ever. Here is some reason about why Nano failed to gain the budget car market in India.
The ‘Cheapest’ car factor:
From the very early days’ cars have been associated with luxury and status symbol among the Indian people. But Nano was completely a different story, as it was marketed as the ‘cheapest’ car in the world. The Indian folks took the word ‘cheapest’ as an offense. As a matter of fact, they even associated its poor build quality. Which gave the car a very bad image among the people. If they had marketed it with terms like the ‘people’s car’, then they could have managed better sales. The cheap factor ruined company’s brand image and overall appeal to the people. No body wanted to be known as the owner of the ‘cheapest car’ instead they wanted something more sensible.
It’s hideous looks:
Okay, some might now argue that it had a futuristic looks and blah blah blah. But it literally appeared like that they have converted an auto rickshaw into a four door car. Which further degraded the appeal of the car. Moreover, it’s tall design was always prone to roll over if you corner the car at a high speed. Even though Tata tried to relaunch the product with various cosmetic changes. The result was always the same, no one took any interest in the car.
Publicity in a negative sense:
The Tata Nano literally boomed all the news platforms with its announcement. Ratan Tata himself launched the car at a press event. As a result, the car started to gain massive popularity among the people. Still, this publicity was in the positive sense. Everyone was very impressed by Tata’s latest offering. However, later everything got scattered like a castle of cards when some models caught fire. The news also spread like a fire all over the country. People started to making fun of the car, internet memes and jokes about the car were totally unstoppable throughout the country. Finally, Tata totally failed to cooperate with the situation and didn’t even bothered to promote any defensive statements against the accidents.
Stiff competition with the second-hand cars:
India is developing a country. So, the number of cars are also increasing at an alarming rate. People are getting rid of their old cars are opting for new purchases. Therefore, it creates good second-hand car market in India. You can easily better-equipped car than any Tata Nano model at the same price or even lesser in some cases. Then tell me why would any customer think about buying an experimental car (Nano) rather than a normal traditional one with the better spec sheet. Moreover, second-hand cars always provide the best value for money if purchased wisely. This is due to the fact, that most of the rich folks in India sell their car in every 3-4 years. So you end up with a car with a decent condition.
Tata Nano may have been the cheapest car in the world. But it skipped some of the important equipment in a car. Ultimately, putting your life in danger. Instead, Nano came with poor quality air bags, no space for a child seat and without any power steering in the base model. Tell who will be interesting in buying a car without a power steering in the 21st century? Furthermore, the car never had disc brakes for braking. Instead, Tata had opted for shitty drum brakes. Even the iconic people’s car from the 90s (Maruti 800) had proper drum brakes in the front.
What Tata promised and what people got:
Having great expectations can often lead to great disappointments. Tata Nano is an exception in this case. Any family would desire a spacious car with decent practicality However, the Nano had none of them, having the engine in the back made the car more jerky and unstable. Furthermore, it cramped the boot space in the front. Which had next to none practical usage. And company boasted that it can seat up to 4 people. The front row was quite fine but the rear seats were a complete disaster. In fact, every thing inside the car felt cramped as compared with any other competitor. Experts say that Tata cleverly gave a tall stance to the car so that it won’t appear cramped from the exterior.
Poor Product placement:
The marketing team at Tata tried to focus only on the rural market instead of the potential rich urban market. They forgot the fact that most of the rural areas don’t even have proper toilet facilities. Then how can they afford the expense of buying their car? On the other hand, in the congested city life, it had great potential with its impeccable mileage and compact design language. However, it was too late before they could do anything about the Nano.