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The Tata Nano, India's $2,500 Car

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Comments

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,785
    I suppose that makes the loss less painful. Ford's PAG was a pretty hilarious waste, was anything gained?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    Do you see a lot of Tata Nano on the roads in India???
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    was anything gained?

    I think it was much worse than that. More than money was lost.

    Having Jag and Land Rover always limited what a Lincoln could be. Lincoln was the de-tuned Jag. LS vs S Type for example. On top of that they dragged down Jaguar to try to get financial synergies (X Type).

    In the end it hurt both.

    This is common in the industry - when you have multiple brands, especially premiere brands, that limits what the lesser brands can do.

    Toyotas don't have DI because Lexuses do. Meanwhile Hyundai and others offer DI, so that's a handicap. Without a lux brand Hyundai doesn't have to hold back.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,785
    And that Jag based Lincoln wasn't exactly a fond memory, nor was the Ford based Jag. Seems both cars didn't get the best traits. 10 years later, both brands are still in iffy shape.

    Hyundai doesn't hold back because it dearly still wants and needs recognition and credibility. Lux brand won't come without the importation of some actual design talent.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I would not be surprised to see a Genesis brand, but kick out the coupe and wait for the next-gen Equus.

    To be honest, though, I hope they don't.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,785
    edited May 2012
    It'll need more than a medium and large sedan to be a real brand, at least one that isn't adored only by Korean national expats and a few fanboys.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't think they should do it - it would make Hyundai redundant. Kia would be the value brand, Genesis upscale, so then what is Hyundai?

    Mercury?

    We saw how well that worked.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,785
    In some ways Hyundai and Kia overlap too much as it is, and it amuses me that the value brand has many examples of superior styling compared to the mainstream brand.

    I could see Genesis working with a larger lineup - small/medium/large/coupe/cabrio/SUV etc, but I don't see those in the pipeline.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    A while back I read that Kia was supposed to be the sportier brand, Hyundai a little more upscale (not luxury, think of VW's position).

    Kia needs a sporty division to tune its cars.

    Hyundai would need to distinguish itself more.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,785
    Yeah, not seeing the sporty Kia. A few Hyundais try, but they are awfully low volume.

    Both brands need more differentiation from each other. They've done a lot to move past the bad old days, but most see them as near identical siblings.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    Gotta be safer than the motorcycles on the highways. I would buy a Nano for around town at $3000-$4000 long before I would buy a Smart or Fiat for $15k. Leno could sell a million of them for Tata....
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I agree.

    They went from the punch line of a bad joke, to class-leading DI engines, even at Accent/Rio price levels.

    But I agree on the 2nd point, too. They are actually MORE similar now than they were a few years ago, when there were vehicles unique to each line (Rondo, Sorento, Borrego).

    Styling is the only real differentiator.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'd take the Fiat, but just barely. They do feel a bit tinny.

    At a fraction of the price, the Nano competes with bikes, walking, or taking the bus. Or maybe a beat up used car (and not a good one).
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,785
    I wonder if the various parties involved will swallow some pride and merge the brands. It'll probably have to happen sometime, I don't see the differentiation panning out without some kind of big change soon.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I doubt it. Buyers are fickle, shallow folks, for the most part. To them styling can make a HUGE difference. And I think different people like Kia and Hyundai's themes. People always seem to favor one or the other, polarizing them in a good way, from a sales standpoint.

    Any how, we're off on a tangent....I guess Tatas are for people who can't afford to care about styling all that much. ;)
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,785
    I wonder if most people really see the difference between say a Sonata and Optima. It's kind of like Olds Ciera vs Buick Century... I bet dealer experience or some perceived value plays heavily.

    Seeing as how the Nano isn't sold in the market where the forum is hosted and never will be, I don't worry about a tangent :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Ciera and Century looked the same though. There was no differentiation minus the badge and maybe bumpers and lights. The doors were interchangeable, even.

    Yeah, to stay on topic this thread would go dormant. ;)
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,785
    edited June 2012
    To Joe or Jane Consumer, how is an Optima different from a Sonata? Or an Accent from a Rio? I guess the Forte is pretty differentiated from the Elantra. I bet they don't even know that Kia and Hyundai are in many ways the same thing.

    Funny we have a Tata thread, but no real dedicated general Hyundai thread.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I doubt the average consumer could identify both brands as Korean.

    Half of Americans think Canada is in Europe. :sick:
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,785
    Or that kangaroos live in Austria :shades:

    Ask random people about the spin-off Japanese luxury brands...few know the parentage. I remember asking people when I was in school, and so many didn't know Acura is Honda, and so on.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    When my son was about 3 years old, he saw a deer squatting to go #2, and yelled out, "Look dad, a Kangaroo!".

    For a split second...I believed it. Very, very funny.

    Looked something like this (image is suitable for work):

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ariel/40598250/
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    To sell the Nano here they would have to make it a 3 wheeler and sell as an enclosed motorcycle. No safety stuff needed. I am seeing a lot of the Can-Am 3 wheelers on the road lately.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,785
    Three wheeler, average American driver, no thanks. There are Chinese copies of the Can-Am out there too. You can apparently get a motorcycle endorsement on one now, at least here. It's like a road going snowmobile for the price of a decent car, don't know how much I want that.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,785
    This was in Austria? :shades:
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,796
    edited June 2012
    Funny we have a Tata thread, but no real dedicated general Hyundai thread.

    Funny that this board is more active than the Hyundai News one. None of our snappy name choices have struck a nerve, much less the current boring one.

    Maybe Googlers are searching for squatting Hyundais or something.

    Back to the topic, I "trust" Hyundai reliability more but like Kia's styling more (like the Soul I admired in the parking lot at lunch today).

    Oh wait, what is the topic?

    Beats me. :shades:

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,785
    Boring name and for the most part, painfully boring cars. That might be part of it. I don't know if the brand attracts loads of enthusiasts.

    Your reliability perception is probably had by many, although I think today they share a lot of mechanicals. I'll say an Optima is a lot sharper than a Sonata, especially that hilariously odd hybrid fishface model.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    FWIW the auto issue of CR scores some of the Kias higher in reliability.

    Also, and this is little known, but Kia tends to have bigger rebates, so the transactions prices are lower, too.

    Let's see them improve on stick shift feel. The Optima's was disappointing, though the Sportage's was good. The latter also had better steering. Too bad you can't see out of it.

    Tata Nano has great visibility.

    (see what I did there? LOL)
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,785
    I doubt the typical Hyunkia driver cares about a stick, especially in the larger or AWD vehicles. Manual Optima? I have another word for that: unicorn ;)

    Nano would also be visible to other drivers, people would point and stare. The local people of Indian heritage would probably make a yucky face, they left to get away from things like that :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    In that case I've ridden a unicorn. :D
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