Cheap and Cheerful Isn't Enough for the Nano

If you squint really really hard, the Nano might look like a hart from the side, but Indian customers are showing no love for the little car. Whether it’s that little issue with it catching fire, or it’s low safety rating, the vehicle is not selling well at all on its home market. This is in spite of the nation’s booming car market and a low asking price.

With economic growth at a staggering 9% per year and a 22% year-to-date increase in car sales, Tata must be feeling left out right now. Problems with delivery and concerns about its safety have translated into sales of just 509 Nanos in November, down from 9,000 in July. At the time of its launch, the Nano was unavailable and dealerships and many customers were turned off by the inability to inspect / test drive the vehicle before placing an order. Who would have imagined such low figures just a few years ago, when the company had orders for over 200,000 cars.

According to a New York Times article, while the Indian carmaker is struggling, its main rivals are showing better results. Despite costing over twice as much as the Nano, the Maruti Suzuki Alto is currently India’s best-seller, thanks to a bigger engine and more spacious interior.

In order to bolster its falling sales figures, the company is allowing buyers to take immediate delivery of their Nano from the showroom and opening new locations in smaller cities. The car’s warranty has been extended from 18 months to four years, while the company is stressing the Nano’s power and durability to assuage the public’s grievances.

Sales are likely to pick up in the near future, according to the company’s statements. “As we began open sales, our learning was that, even though the Tata Nano is affordable for thousands of customers who do not own a car, it is still a significant decision to enter the four-wheeler category,” company spokesperson, Debasis Ray, stated.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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