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

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    lokkilokki Member Posts: 1,200
    My guess is that they're targeting a new market for Jaguar and Land Rover.... that is: India.

    The Jaguar name still carries cache in India, and - fortunately for Tata - not enough of the middle class could afford them during the 70's, 80's and 90's for their reputation to be tarnished. Jaguars have always been beautiful cars unless you actually knew someone who owned one ;)

    Additionally, while other markets may be subliminally bothered by Indian ownership of the once British Jaguar, I think that Indian customers will see that as a good thing for India and Jaguar. Buying a Jaguar can now take on a patriotic angle just as the Big 3 loyalists have pushed.

    So, if Tata can keep problems down on their new models, they may be able to build their market without having to really try to compete more heavily in the U.S. or Europe.

    I don't know, but I'm betting that Lexus isn't strongly establised in India, nor is BMW or Cadillac. Mercedes, is of course, everywhere there's money.

    Bottom Line - I think that Tata may have been a buyer that brings more opportunity to Jaguar than any other buyer could have.

    FWIW.... you'll still need $4 to buy a cup of Starbucks coffee, after listening to my opinion. :P
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Funny how the tables have turned, no?
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    lokkilokki Member Posts: 1,200
    This will probably be deleted for being off topic so read fast ateixeira.....

    It's interesting to compare the ultimate outcomes of the effects of colonial power as exercised by various European powers.

    Those places where the Brits took over seem to have (on the whole) done better than colonies of the French, the Germans, the Spanish, or the Americans.

    India and Hongkong, compared to Vietnam, and so forth.

    One theory that I've heard has to do with the inherent laziness of the Brit's sent out to run the Empire ;) . Seems the French and the Germans LIKED accounting and bureaucacy in general. Enjoyed it, you see. The Spanish let the church run all that stuff, as long as the gold kept coming out. But the Brits... they were lazy.
    So they established schools to teach accounting and government, and then let the colonys do all the heavy lifting. After all, a day acting as a Judge or a postman is so dreary when you could be out hunting tigers or playing polo, old chap!

    So when the Colonial Powers left, the Brits left schools and functioning government bureacracies behind them, since they were being run by the locals anyhow. They may have changed governmental philosophies, but the mail still got delivered, and the court systems worked.

    The French left great restaurants (LOVE Vietnamese food), the Germans, great armys (see the Boer wars), and the Spanish...well, tacos and bullfighting :surprise: . The Americans left shoe fetishists (see Imelda Marcos). :sick:

    Am I banned yet? :)
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    steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    No, but it's lunchtime here and you're not helping our appetites. :P
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    LOL

    Now all you have to do is come full circle and tell us how that affects Tata's stock price in the long term. :D
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    hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    From the June 5 Automotive News...

    NEW YORK (Reuters) -- "India's Tata Motors hopes to offer the Nano, dubbed the world's cheapest car, in the United States within two years, its chairman said.

    'It will need to meet all emission and crash standards and so we hope in the next two years we will be offering such a vehicle in the U.S,' Ratan Tata told a panel at the Cornell Global Forum on Sustainable Global Enterprise late Wednesday.

    The company plans to offer a European version of the car, which costs about $2,300, in 2011.

    Tata got the idea to make a car that poor people could afford while thinking about the motorbike and scooter riders who maneuver through the streets of Indian cities with their children on board.

    The four-seater car gets up to 65 miles per gallon (28 km per liter). Cheap labor helps to keep the price down.

    Tata said his company was also working to develop cars that run on fuels other than gasoline such as clean diesel, biofuels and batteries.

    The Nano debuted in showrooms in January 2008, but production was delayed by protests over land use where a plant was to be located. The cars will be available in India by July with a lottery to select the first 100,000 owners."
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    hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    If the Nano does indeed come to the U.S., it'll be a game changer for current bottom tier cars, such as the Smart, Rio and 1.6 Versa. It'll undoubtedly also have a significant effect on our used car market.
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    sixthflicksixthflick Member Posts: 47
    Nice! ...and THAT is why I bought stock in Tata Motors. It's already up over $4 per share from where I bought and they haven't even started exporting them nor producing as many as they'll need.
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    fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,168
    What will this embodiment of globalization costs when it hits the first world? Not a penny less than 5-6K I am sure. The media is running with these eye-catching 2300-2500 numbers, but those are not realistic. And I would love to see one of those things crash...just by appearances, they seem to be a lot less imposting than even a Smart.

    I also wonder how workers are treated in those factories...
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    hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    Yeah, $2,300-$2,500 for a federalized one seems wildly optimistic.
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    nortsr1nortsr1 Member Posts: 1,060
    I wholeheartedly agree with you. By the time the Tato is made "Safety worthy" with all or stringent safety requirements, you can bet that car with the added costs and "weight addition"...you will never see 65 mpg or $3000.00 base car.
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    As they say, when you hear rumors, buy, when the news finally comes out, sell.
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    hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    Tata Nano at Fiat-Chrysler Showrooms?
    By Nick Kurczewski

    Rajanish Kakade/Associated Press

    "Tata Motors says it hopes to sell the ultra-cheap Nano in the United States in two years. But how? It’s no secret Tata Motors, India’s largest domestic automaker, wants to introduce its low-buck Nano city car in the United States. After all, a small matter like a global recession suddenly makes marketing the car, billed as “the world’s cheapest,” about as easy as selling snow cones in the Sahara.

    Speaking at a meeting for Sustainable Global Enterprise at Cornell University last week, Ratan Tata, chairman and chief executive of the Tata Group, said he hoped to see the Nano arrive in North America by 2011, according to Reuters. This is despite the need to engineer the Nano to meet United States safety and emissions requirements, not to mention the search to find a suitable location to sell the cars.

    So how does a company hope to re-engineer a car within two years for a market where it has absolutely no sales presence?

    Luckily for Tata, the answer to these problems could be solved with a call to Fiat-Chrysler. Despite continued legal battles over the deal, a healthy Fiat-Chrysler union could pave the way for the Nano’s coming to the United States.

    Fiat and Tata already share many joint ventures. Tata sells Fiats in India and has access to the Italian company’s diesel engines. The two companies share a giant factory in India, and Tata has developed a pickup truck that Fiat will sell under its own name.

    Fiat’s chief executive, Sergio Marchionne, has also routinely stated his desire to introduce a budget brand to fit below Fiat’s already economical range of vehicles. An American or European version of the Nano, minus Tata badges, and possibly wearing a dormant nameplate from Fiat’s past (Autobianchi, anyone?), could give the Fiat Group its cheap car brand and Tata an entry into markets in Europe and the United States.

    Considering that the Tata Nano can exceed 50 miles a gallon, even a revised version (fitted with air bags and a larger 3-cylinder engine) could help Fiat-Chrysler meet tough new Environmental Protection Agency emissions standards that start taking effect in 2012. These new regulations will push car company fleet averages to more than 35 miles a gallon by 2016, up from the current level of about 25. A fuel sipper like the Nano could help."
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    gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    I think Tata is going to be a force to reckon with. Our lame auto industry is on life support. Tata is offering a line of vehicles World wide that GM could have built if not for having their head in the sand the last 25 years.

    Their line of small diesel trucks will be well received if we ever get rid of the Chicken Tax. They are already able to meet the mileage requirement set by CAFE. None of the auto makers here can claim that.

    India has the engineering and labor force to become the largest auto maker. Fiat may be the smart company joining forces with Tata. And now being handed Chrysler as a gift from Obama. They could push GM and Ford to the rear.

    http://cvglobal.tatamotors.com/index.asp
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    No kidding, the chicken tax has kept a lot of little trucks away. 25%, right? That's a virtual ban on importation.
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    gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    I like to remind those that are always harping on free trade destroying the Domestic auto market. We may be the most restrictive. That law passed in the 1960s was to protect the D3 PU truck market from outside builders.
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    iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Member Posts: 7,704
    gagrice. He never let us forget the inequities of our free-trade agreement. rockylee will post again on Edmunds. It's only a matter of time. He'll get lonely.

    2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick

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    rockymtnhirockymtnhi Member Posts: 19
    Nothing can save them but,
    quality autos and trucks.
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    planetauto1planetauto1 Member Posts: 2
    Looks like this car is rugged and very well built.
    These guys have built a real roadworthy safe car.

    http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/15/video-nano-passes-european-crash-test- /

    Tata Motors said it was “delighted but not surprised” that its Nano subcompact passed European front- and side-impact crash tests last week.

    This is according to Autocar, which reports that the Nano was subjected to tests at the MIRA testing center in England:

    The crash tests included a 40 percent offset and a 56km/h (35 m.p.h.) frontal impact, and are tougher than those that exist in India — currently the Nano’s only market — but they are due to be adopted in India in three years’ time.

    “We’ve conducted these tests in India already,” Clive Hickman, Tata’s head of engineering, told Autocar, which has a gallery of photos here, “so we knew the car would pass. But it’s still a great moment.”

    For Americans, who have harbored strong doubts about the Nano’s crashworthiness, the results must be more surprising.

    Ever since Ratan Tata, the chairman of Tata Motors, said that he planned to sell the Nano in Europe (and possibly the United States) by 2011, there have been doubts about the small car’s ability to provide safe, comfortable transportation in Western traffic.

    But Tata seems prepared for the challenge. Nick Kurczewski, in his review of the Nano for The New York Times, wrote that the Nano Europe would be better equipped with air bags, revised bumpers and a bigger engine. According to company officials, an automatic transmission and a hatchback version are in the works.
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    planetauto1planetauto1 Member Posts: 2
    Tata Motors said it was “delighted but not surprised” that its Nano subcompact passed European front- and side-impact crash tests last week.

    This is according to Autocar, which reports that the Nano was subjected to tests at the MIRA testing center in England:

    The crash tests included a 40 percent offset and a 56km/h (35 m.p.h.) frontal impact, and are tougher than those that exist in India — currently the Nano’s only market — but they are due to be adopted in India in three years’ time.

    “We’ve conducted these tests in India already,” Clive Hickman, Tata’s head of engineering, told Autocar, which has a gallery of photos here, “so we knew the car would pass. But it’s still a great moment.”

    For Americans, who have harbored strong doubts about the Nano’s crashworthiness, the results must be more surprising.

    Ever since Ratan Tata, the chairman of Tata Motors, said that he planned to sell the Nano in Europe (and possibly the United States) by 2011, there have been doubts about the small car’s ability to provide safe, comfortable transportation in Western traffic.

    But Tata seems prepared for the challenge. Nick Kurczewski, in his review of the Nano for The New York Times, wrote that the Nano Europe would be better equipped with air bags, revised bumpers and a bigger engine. According to company officials, an automatic transmission and a hatchback version are in the works.
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    fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,168
    Tata dealer?

    Little cars like that with any modicum of enginnering are essentially little rollcages on wheels, so it's not completely surprising.

    I'll believe more when I see it pass IIHS muster.
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    How did it score, though? Do they dole out stars? How did it compare to modern competitors?

    That release was very light on actual information.

    I don't think crash tests are pass/fail. If you think about it, all cars pass, even 3 stars NHTSA results and "Marginal" IIHS results.

    I still want to see 4-5 NHTSA stars and at least an Acceptable IIHS score.
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    gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    You expect a lot from a $4000 vehicle. I would bet it is safer in a crash than a $10k motorcycle. The smaller the vehicle the bigger the risk. Vehicles should all be rated on how they come out in a crash with an F150 Ford PU truck. That being the most common vehicle on the road. Little cars would not come out so well with a realistic test. I would guess the Nano will compete with the Fiat (Chrysler) 500 when it arrives in the USA. I like the Mini. I would never feel safe in it.
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Awe, man! You stole my own line! LOL :D

    I was the one saying that the Nano competes with bicycles and donkeys, not other cars.

    I still would like to see detailed results.

    Sure, it passed the Euro tests, i.e. it's not so unsafe that it's illegal on european streets. But how well did it do?

    The photos actually look good. From what I cal tall the A-pillar didn't budge at all.

    I just would like to see the detailed scores, rather than just pass/fail.
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    spm4spm4 Member Posts: 3
    Actually your request is answered. Tata expects a 4 star EuroNCAP rating for the Nano (they probably know what to expect because they have their own dedicated crash test facility in-house in India, and they have already tested it). This is better than most small cars in Europe. The maximum rating possible is 5 star and that is only possible with anti-skid braking with electronic stability augmentation and a full set of airbags fitted including side bags. The Nano probably can achieve a 5 star rating, but probably will omit the side and passenger air bags and the anti-skid braking to keep costs down. The test model only had a drivers air bag.

    As far as comparisons with the Ford F150 pick-up is concerned, European crash tests show you are safer in a Tata Nano. The European version of the Ford F150, called the Ford Ranger got a 2 star EuroNCAP rating. A link to the crash test is shown below:
    2008 Ford Ranger EuroNCAP crash test
    2008 Ford Ranger recieves 2 Star EuroNCAP rating

    The US test is not much different:
    Ford F150 US Test

    The first stage of the Tata Nano the video crash tests which the Nano passed with flying colours were done at 35mph, for certification for sale in Europe.
    Nano initial crash test video
    Photos of the crashed vehicle show the passenger compartment intact, doors open, passengers protected, and even the windscreen is intact.
    Nano initial crash test photos

    The star rating tests for the EuroNCAP rating will be done at 40mph to assign a safety star rating. If the Nano gets a 4 star EuroNCAP rating, then it is safer than the Ford F150 at any speed.

    Lots of people in the US think driving around in a big truck or SUV is safer. That is not the case. SUVs in particular tend to provide poor passenger safety in crashes because they are based on a frame chassis and lack a monocque cage to protect the occupants, and the passenger compartment folds up as in the Ford F150/Ranger crash test, trapping or injuring the passengers.

    As far as crashing into other vehicles is concerned, that is a lot safer in the Nano than crashing into the concrete block in the test. This is because in a very small car like the Nano or the Smart, the main problem is the small crumple depth. It takes very careful engineering to stop the car in the crash without subjecting the occupants to decelerations that would cause internal organ damage as monitored by the test dummy sensors. This is difficult with a concrete block, but easily achieved when crashing into the crumple zone of another car. Crashing into a Ford F150 would be safer than crashing into a concrete block at the same speed, and you would be safer in the Nano than the Ford F150.

    Here is a video of a crash between a Smart car and a Mercedes to illustrate this.
    Smart vs Mercedes
    OK the Smart car toppled over because it is so light and tall, but both sets of occupants would have survived, and the Mercedes' crumple zone adds to the Smart's crumple zone, protecting the Smart's occupants as well. The Mercedes is of course a very safe car with a monocoque safety cage and a deep well designed crumple zone, so although a lot of metal twisting goes on, its passengers are very safe.

    In the case of the Nano vs Ford F150, the Nano's occupants would be well protected by the Nano's safety cage and additionally the Ford's crumple zone, but the Nano may penetrate into the Ford F150's cab and kill or injure the Ford's occupants.
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    spm4spm4 Member Posts: 3
    The interesting thing about the Nano is that next cheapest car the Suzuki/Maruti 800 with a similar performance but with slightly less interior space and lower crash test rating, and also built in India is double the price.

    I think there is a lot of inertia and unwillingness among auto companies worldwide to spend R&D on cost reduction because they want to charge us more.
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    4 stars is good. They won't brag about it, but it quiets any criticism about it being unsafe or tinny.

    Comparisons to large trucks are irrelevant. You have to compare to other entry-level cars or alternatives at the same price. And then we go back to the safer-than-a-bicycle argument.
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    spm4spm4 Member Posts: 3
    Well it is better than pretty well all entry level cars. The Ford F150 isn't a large truck, it is a car sized pickup.

    As far as the safer than bike argument goes, I think the crash safety culture is completely illogical. We don't ban bikes or motorbikes, which are inherently unsafe, from the roads, but the moment you step into a car you have to have to add anti-skid brakes, air bags etc. when the car you are in is already vastly safer than a bike or motorbike. There is no logic to that, and just air bags and anti-skid braking will double the cost of a car like the Nano. I have the feeling that the safety requirements are being pushed up every so often under pressure from the auto industry in order to give us a reason buy a new model, rather than because of any rational safety need.
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    gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    I think the crash safety culture is completely illogical.

    I completely agree with you on that subject. To me it was sad the only EV sold for the masses today is a 3 wheeler. That was the only way they could get around the absurd safety regulations required for a passenger car. Having 3 wheels got it past the regulators as a motorcycle.

    I think you would find that the Ford F150 sold in the USA is a quite a bit more than just a car sized PU. They are over 231 inches long and 5100 lbs. They have all 5 star rating except for rollover which is a 4 star. I don't think any of the top selling compacts can match the F150 for safety. The very dated Ford Ranger is not in a league with the F150.
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Good point.
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    jay_lazjay_laz Member Posts: 8
    > This is the way cars need to go again.

    What's "got to go" is the idea of reducing automobiles to an evil, dull experience that nobody in their sane mind would enjoy beyond the thrill of "coming in from the rain" into the spacious, luxurious confines of a Nano.

    Remember Yugo? Didn't think so. Completely failed to capture even the cheap-[non-permissible content removed] market place.

    For $2500, I''ll take a first-gen Miata, enjoy the drive, get much of the mileage claimed for the Nano, find parts and support easy to find and cheap to purchase, and generally thrill to the ride every time I start the motor.

    Nano? Not even for free.

    Just like ForTwo, it isn't a "Smart" choice... :rofl:
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Pretty harsh, but I didn't like the ForTwo much more than you did (and I even compared it to the Nano at one point).

    Here's my review of the Smart:

    http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f1c530a/341#MSG341
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    steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    evil, dull experience

    Heavy traffic has ruined that a lot of places (the fun part of driving, I mean).

    But I'll take the Miata too. :)
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    lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    From Yahoo:

    MUMBAI, India — When it was introduced in early 2009, the egg-shaped Tata Nano was billed as a modern-day people’s car, an ultracheap vehicle that would bring greater mobility to the masses of India and, eventually, the world. But those ambitions have stalled — for now, at least.

    Though car sales have shot up across India, because of an economy that is growing at nearly 9 percent annually, sales of the Nano have been falling for the last four months. Its maker, Tata Motors, sold only 509 Nanos to its dealers in November — a stark contrast to the 9,000 it delivered in July. Last year, when media coverage and auto writers’ praise were stoking demand, Tata had orders for more than 200,000 Nanos, which has a list price starting at about $2,900.

    But as Tata has struggled with problems like production delays and fires in some of the cars, rival cars like the Maruti Suzuki Alto have overtaken the Nano. The Alto, which starts at $6,200 here, had sales of more than 30,000 in November, making it India’s best-selling car last month.

    On Thursday the Tata company announced that it would extend the warranty on the Nano, including those that have already been sold, to four years, from 18 months.

    The Nano’s celebrated rollout had helped prompt other big automakers, like General Motors and Renault-Nissan, to announce plans for ultracheap people’s cars of their own for sale in India and other developing countries. Those would-be competitors are still expected to appear in the next two years.

    But the Nano’s poor showing could give pause to corporate executives and policy makers, eager to see goods and services sold to people of modest means.

    Analysts say the Nano situation demonstrates it may not be sufficient to make cheaper, smaller versions of existing products to win over that broad base of customers. Companies, they say, must also make sure the products are widely available and are seen as safe, useful and alluring.

    “The bottom of the pyramid continues to be where the action is,” said Hormazd Sorabjee, editor of Autocar India, a magazine. “But the aspirations of people are moving up. People want to jump into something more substantial.”

    That seems evident from the booming car market in India, where total sales climbed more than 22 percent, to nearly 203,000 in November. The most popular cars here are small, fuel-efficient hatchbacks that sell for $10,000 or less. Maruti Suzuki, a division of the Japanese auto maker Suzuki, now sells nearly half of all cars here.

    Tata Motors, which is part of India’s biggest business conglomerate, the Tata Group, ranks third behind Hyundai of South Korea, whose top seller is the i10, a small car that starts at $7,800.

    Tata, which started as a locomotive and truck maker, has gradually built market share in the car business over the last 20 years on the strength of modestly priced cars and sport utility vehicles. The Nano was Tata’s big bid to shake up the car market in India and then go global — first in other developing countries and then, if all went as planned, Europe and possibly even the United States.

    The idea had been to sell the same Indian version of the Nano in other developing markets, but offer a more powerful and costlier version in developed countries. The Indian model is a four-door car that can seat up to five people; its air-cooled engine is in the back, like the original Volkswagen Beetle.

    The Nano was the brainchild of Ratan Tata, the chairman of the Tata Group, who told his engineers to build a car that would sell for 100,000 rupees ($2,200) to people who would otherwise be making do with motorcycles and scooters. It is common to see Indian families of four riding on motorcycles with the father upfront, the mother sitting sidesaddle with a baby in her arms and a child sandwiched between them.

    But the Nano has been troubled almost from its inception. The company’s production plans were thrown off kilter in 2008 when farmers, led by regional politicians, protested that the state of West Bengal had forcibly acquired land at low prices for a factory where the Nano and its parts would be made. Tata had to relocate the factory to another state, Gujarat — causing it to take more than a year and a half to fill orders for the first 100,000 cars.

    More recently, the Nano has been hurt by reports of fires in a handful of cars. In one widely publicized instance, a family was taking its new Nano home from a dealership in Mumbai when smoke started billowing from the back of the car. Soon, the entire car was engulfed in flames. There were no injuries — other than to the Nano’s image.

    Tata Motors has steadfastly denied that there was anything wrong with the car’s design or its parts. It has said that fires were caused by “foreign electrical equipment” found on top of the exhaust system. It has offered to retrofit Nanos with extra safety features and has taken pains to say that its offer does not amount to a recall.

    But analysts, customers and others have found those explanations and the company’s offer wanting. What were these foreign objects? What is the function of the new safety features, and why weren’t they part of the car in the first place?

    “The company has just mishandled the whole thing,” said Darius Lam, an analyst at J.D. Power & Associates. “First, the company said it was no big deal. Then, it was just some foreign objects.” Mr. Lam added that it was still not clear what had caused the fires and whether the problem had been fully addressed.

    In a written response to questions, the company said that it had thoroughly investigated the fires and found that the car was safe, but that it had decided to improve the exhaust and electrical systems to reassure customers.

    A spokesman says sales of the Nano are now back on the rise, as the company makes cars available for immediate purchase in more sites around the country, rather than taking only orders. The company has also started displaying the car and offering test drives through new small showrooms in smaller cities to reach people who may not be comfortable walking into conventional car dealerships.

    “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,” Debasis Ray, a company spokesman said in a written statement for this article.

    Recently, the company began running advertisements for the car that stress its power and durability. One newspaper ad, for instance, features an owner who says he took his car to the Himalayas, climbing steep slopes with ease.

    Some Nano owners — there are now more than 71,000 — praise the car’s performance, its fuel efficiency (41 miles or more to the gallon) and its surprisingly spacious interior.

    “I have really enjoyed driving the car,” said Deeksha Dhawan, a 21-year-old architecture student whose father bought the top-end Nano,
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    hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    edited December 2010
    Maybach's management must feel relieved.
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Simple rule: fix it first, then think about price increases.
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    hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    The January 30 issue of Automotive News says that the Nano has been "selling dismally. November sales plunged to 509, off 85% from the previous year." Further, "since the Nano debuted in April 2009, the price started at $2,500. Since then, it has risen to an average of $3,342 for the base model."
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    The fires in the headlines have not helped.

    Tata will have to back off on pricing and up the quality control to recover.
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    iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Member Posts: 7,704
    which is exactly what Tata should do in this case...spend more to make the Nano more of a car and a safer car overall. That car in its present form is doomed to failure in the U.S. I've heard the negative comments about it.

    2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick

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    hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    From today's New York Times...

    Tata Chairman Says U.S. Car Will Cost ‘$7,000 or $8,000’
    By JONATHAN SCHULTZ

    "Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Motors, and Carl-Peter Forster, the brand’s chief executive, with the Tata Pixel concept at the Geneva auto show this month.Tata Motors struck headline gold in 2008 with the 100,000-rupee price tag ($2,172) for its Nano city car. But if the Indian automaker succeeds in bringing a vehicle to the United States, the car’s window sticker will sacrifice a good deal of its shock value.

    Last week Ratan Tata, the Tata Group chairman, discussed sales and pricing prospects for a United States city car after a symposium at Cornell University’s College of Art, Architecture and Planning. Mr. Tata is an alumnus. The symposium was held in conjunction with an exhibition that explored the design and development of the Nano.

    'It won’t be a $2,000 car; it will be a $7,000 or $8,000 car,' Mr. Tata said during the Q&A session. 'But it will still be, in comparative terms, a car that the U.S. would accept.'

    The eventual vehicle, he added, would be produced with 'the same design philosophy' and “frugal engineering” that informed development of the Nano.

    Mr. Tata was not asked whether the Pixel, a scissor-doored runabout that was shown in concept form at the Geneva auto show this month presaged an American Tata nor whether the company still intended to bring the Nano in some form to the American market."

    .
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    fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,168
    7-8K for that crime against autodom, or the same money for a used real car? Tough choice!

    Mr Tata, your inherited empire won't save you from the realities of this market.
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    edited March 2011
    At $7-8000 it will struggle to compete with a 1 year old CPO Aveo or Versa.

    I say keep it in markets that have a real demand for it, and where prices have it competing against a donkey or motorcycle (really).
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    hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    edited March 2011
    I had similar thoughts.

    If the Nano is ever imported to the U.S. (heck, they've been talking about it for almost three years) as the lowest priced new car on the market, some will buy it for the first year or two. Many don't know or have forgotten the lessons of the Yugo, the early Hyundais, not to mention the first batch of Toyotas and Datsuns in the late'50s/early'60s.
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    plektoplekto Member Posts: 3,738
    I never have figured out why so many items that are imported from India like this have essentially a 100% markup over cost. The car plainly would sell for $4000 or so in India outfitted to U.S. specs(if that), but then they simply appear to be doubling the price out of greed.

    $8K is insane. For $4K I can see some sales, but when you can get an Aveo, Accent, or Rio on closeout for about $9000, it is dead before it starts.($8895/$8995 seems to be the weekend insert "deal" that you see listed most often lately)
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Yup.

    Versa, too.
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    fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,168
    Well, we've gotta keep our CEO class the most overpaid and irresponsible segment of the population on the planet, the money has to come from somewhere.

    The massive majority of price benefit gained from offshoring to labor markets that aren't exactly top quality are absorbed by executive greed. The same people with the clueless shortsighted beliefs that such a vehicle would succeed in this market to begin with.
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    plektoplekto Member Posts: 3,738
    Of course, the DEAL is if you have a GM card. The old black ones are grandfathered in at a maximum of $3500. So if you've been saving, you can get an Aveo for $9000-$3500. $5500 for a new little squeek-box to get around town in. And after 5 years or so, you can repeat the process all over again. Even the regular card now is a couple of thousand off.

    Even the cheapskate in me pauses at that thought. It's crap, but $5500 for a brand new car is still a bit tempting ;)

    Way more than the Tata in any case.
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Good winter beater if your nice car has summer tires.

    About what a cost of new tires would run on a nice luxury car, LOL.
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    fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,168
    For $5500, the tin can has some appeal yeah, at lot more than at 9K+ where you can find a nice proper used car. I guess I don't see myself needing a new car that much, when used cars are so much better than in the past.

    Same holds true for the Nano, even the Aveo looks like a Lexus in comparison.
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    hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    edited March 2011
    I agree that used cars are generally better than in the past, especially if you're referring to the '70s - ~early '90s, but one offsetting disadvantage of more recent used car models is the greater complexity. Another is that the price for parts and components seems to have increased relative to the prices of new cars. I think this is due largely to the reduced margins resulting from the internet. Since the profit margins on new cars has been squeezed for the manufacturers and the dealers, they compensate for it with parts and service. In other words, the business model has changed.

    It also takes more labor hours and training to work on modern cars, since access is often more difficult. In addition, special tools are sometimes required. Offsetting these trends, at least to some extent, is that very few things are repaired anymore. They're replaced, which is part of the business model. Regulations and liability are also factored into the model.

    I'm not sure how all of this nets out, in terms of new versus used. However, I think that, more than ever, it helps to be a car enthusiast to game the system. The average Joe is probably better off buying new, if he can afford it, or buying used from a relative or acquaintance when buying used. As for me, when buying used I favor dealing with private sellers who've maintained records, with time on my side.
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