Tata Nano’s Story – How Peoples Car Was Born

People literally loved the car when it was first launched as it was the most affordable car in India which was priced just at Rs. 1,00,000. The car was made in a motive that it could help the bike users to travel safely during all climatic conditions at a cost of a good bike in India. Well the love didn’t continue as the safety concern and the name ‘cheapest car’ didn’t get a good response from the people later on. So let’s see how things started and came to an end.

The Nano Story!

The idea of the most affordable car came on a rainy day in November 2003, when the chairman of Tata Sons Ratan Tata was travelling and he saw  a family of four on a scooter,  the father was driving it with a young kid standing in the front, behind the handlebars and wife sitting behind him with another child on her lap.

After the incident Ratan Tata asked himself if he could create a safe, affordable, all weather form of transport for such a family, which he took as a dream project and turned it into a reality four years later he launched the Tata Nano -People’s car

Ratan Tata also mentioned this incident on the launch of this car and he said, “This is been referred to as one man’s dream and indeed it was.”

How did they make a car under 1 lakh ?

Tata Motors tried to reduce the inuring cost in all ways possible, starting from dispensing most non-essential features, reducing the amount of steel used in its construction, and relying on low cost Indian labour.

Other cost-cutting include the removal of passenger side ORVM, one wiper blade, only three lug nuts per wheel, removal of the fuel filler cap from the tank and didn’t have any safety features other than seat-belts. With that Tata also said it was the first time a 2-cylinder petrol engine was being used in a car with single balancer shaft.

Expectations VS Reality

Tata had an installed capacity of 2,50,000 cars per annum but the sales number was very less comparatively which was 30,350 units between 2009-10, 70,432 units in 2010-11, 74,527 units in 2011-12, 53,848 units in 2012-13 and 21,129 units in 2013-14.

The tag ‘cheapest car’ was initially used to promote the car which in-turn didn’t came out as expected, it portrayed as if the car was cheap and described the built quality as low. Ratan Tata also said that if the car was launched as the ‘most afforable car’ instead of ‘cheapest car’ it would have been an successor.

Engine specs

The Nano 2012 was powered by a two-cylinder 624 cc engine making 37hp of power which was fitted in the rear of the car and mated to a 4-speed manual gearbox. The car was made equipped until the BS-IV update.

Tata GenX Nano (2015-2018)

To boost the sales Tata Motors came up with the upgradation of the car in the name of GenX Nano. The GenX featured a 5-speed automated manual transmission, Electric power steering, air conditioning and Bluetooth radio were available on top models in addition to new colors and alloy wheels.

The body was stregnthened and also the interior was also redesigned with new fabrics and improved soundproofing, while the car was still powered by the same 624cc engine.

Why Nano left the market?

The project Nano was launched at a price of Rs. 1,00,000 which was really hard to manage in such changing environment. The project lost good money ranging about 1000cr which was due to the raising costs of the materials with disappointing demand. Also there were negative news across media stating the fire incidents happened with Nano.

Being in such environment the project was still continued as Ratan Tata have promised to keep the car at a price range of Rs. 1,00,000 and also that they have been emotionally attached with the project.

Despite Tata’s  several attempts to revive the Nano project, including the GenX which had automatic transmission, the sales never took off and they had to stop the production sadly.

We personally felt this story inspiring! Did you like the Tata Nano’s story ?

We post an classic blog on any car/bike every sunday as part of #ZagClassicSunday. If you’d like to get the latest updates click the bell button down below and subscribe to our noticifications. Happy riding!

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