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

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Comments

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    About the price of a scooter or a really good bicycle, FWIW.
  • lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    I wonder how it holds up in a crash test?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    edited November 2011
    Better than a scooter, but not by much. :D

    Jokes aside, here's one video, though the angle is terrible:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahw7-KarkWw
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    edited November 2011
    From toay's Automotive News...

    "MUMBAI (Reuters) -- India's Tata Motors today unveiled an upgraded Nano model as it looks to improve on well below-estimate sales of a product touted as the world's cheapest car.

    Tata has sold around 130,000 Nanos since the car was launched in April 2009. The four-seater car costs as little as 140,000 rupees ($2,730), and was launched in a blaze of publicity in price-sensitive India.

    Sales have underperformed expectations, as rising input costs forced the firm to increase the car's price, and a land dispute at the model's original factory forced Tata to move production to an alternative site.

    In November, Tata offered Nano owners the option to install safety protection in their vehicles after local media reported that seven cars had caught fire. The carmaker said it was not a recall as the fires were specific to the units.

    The new Nano, according to a company statement, boasts increased fuel efficiency, a more powerful engine and new interiors."

    More power, more economical, new interiors. What's not to like?
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,137
    Would something so light need any power assists?

    Scratch that, looking at how the natives drive when they come here and line up to buy Camcords and Civrollas, all assistance is good :shades: :sick:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Must ... resist ... joke about 9 passengers in the car OK I'm sorry I can't resist! :D
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    The second paragraph of the Automotive News article refers to "a blaze of publicity" when the Nano was introduced. Just wondering whether that was code for how these cars would self destruct.
  • lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    image

    The Nano is hot Hot HOT!!!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    The flowers in the front are a nice touch! :D
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    edited November 2011
    Mistry, really? Haven't they already tried that? What the blazes is going on?

    "MUMBAI -- Tata, the Indian owner of Jaguar Land Rover Group, says it has selected Cyrus Mistry to succeed Ratan Tata as chairman of Tata Sons, the group's holding company.

    Ratan Tata, 72, plans to retire next year from the helm of the company which bought Jaguar Land Rover from Ford Motor Co. in 2008 for $2.5 billion.

    Mistry is the managing director of Shapoorji Pallonji group, which has interests in construction, real estate, infrastructure and textiles, and a director of Tata Sons. He has initially been appointed deputy chairman of the holding company. He will take over as chairman when Ratan Tata retires in December 2012, the company said on Wednesday.

    Mistry, 43, is the son of Pallonji Mistry, whose family is the largest individual shareholder in Tata Sons with an 18 percent stake. He has degrees in engineering and management from Imperial College, London, and the London Business School."
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    edited May 2012
    Assuming Mistry is still there, thanks to some tax credit in England, net income for Tata more than doubled for the most recent quarter. So maybe he's doing okay.

    Sounds like Jag and Land Rover sales are surging in China.

    Tata Motors Profit Beats Estimates on Demand for Evoque (Bloomberg)
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Land Rover did not do too bad in the USA last month either. 10% increase over 2011. Jaguar not so good. They sell 3 times more SUVs than luxury cars here. Even with the price of gas. Though people that can afford a $100k luxury SUV are not going to worry about the price of gas.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,137
    I wonder how they'd be doing without the tax help. Still scared of those things out of warranty, much moreso than German cars.

    The brands are well positioned for the growing new gilded age, and the corrupt wealth in our most favored "partner".
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    You don't need to wait until the warranty expires to be scared. Buddy spent $3k on brakes and tires at just 23k miles on his Sport.

    More scary than any horror movie I've seen. I couldn't sleep at night. :surprise:
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,137
    edited May 2012
    Why did he buy the thing in the first place? Is he of Indian heritage and wanted a laugh? I can't see why these sell new, other than tax write offs thanks to our broken trickle up economics policies...I can see the used demand, as they depreciate like day old bread, so people can pretend to be rich.

    Amusing that maintenance on a German that cost twice as much would likely be less.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    He has the Ford credit card, and moved his way up the lineup. Started with a beater Tempo, then a Mustang, then Explorer Eddie Bauer, then Lincoln Aviator. Didn't Ford own Land Rover at one point? Not sure if he was able to apply the discounts or what.

    His other car is a Boxster Tiptronic (*), so I think he got his inheritance early from his dad.

    * best conventional auto I've sampled, thing reads your mind
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,137
    Yeah, Land Rover was part of PAG, and I am pretty sure never ran in the black, which made me wonder why the Indians with their illustrious automotive successes thought they could do better. But 10 years ago China wasn't quite the den of mysterious wealth either.

    Inheritance, something I do associate with the brand :shades:
  • saahil_sinsaahil_sin Member Posts: 3
    We will soon see even Nano Diesel and Nano CNG in India in coming 12 months. The price of Nano Diesel also expected to be kept under $ 4000 as per industry estimates
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    which made me wonder why the Indians with their illustrious automotive successes thought they could do better

    They paid pennies on the dollar compared to what Ford paid, I'm sure.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,137
    I suppose that makes the loss less painful. Ford's PAG was a pretty hilarious waste, was anything gained?
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Do you see a lot of Tata Nano on the roads in India???
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member 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 Member Posts: 57,137
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 57,137
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 57,137
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 57,137
    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 Member Posts: 31,450
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 57,137
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 57,137
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 57,137
    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 Member Posts: 72,587
    I doubt the average consumer could identify both brands as Korean.

    Half of Americans think Canada is in Europe. :sick:
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,137
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 31,450
    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 Member Posts: 57,137
    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 Member Posts: 57,137
    This was in Austria? :shades:
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    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:
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,137
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 57,137
    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 Member Posts: 72,587
    In that case I've ridden a unicorn. :D
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