World's cheapest car tag made Nano a flop: Ratan Tata

Team OD Published: November 29, 2013, 07:32 PM IST

Former Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata has conceded that marketing the Nano as the world's cheapest car was not the brightest of ideas. He, however, has expressed confidence that the mini-car, which has been a flop in India, still has what it takes to turn things around at the home turf, adding that the company has plans to launch the Nano outside India.

2013 Tata Nano LX2013 Tata Nano LX

In an interview to CNBC, Ratan Tata said, "I always felt the Nano should have been marketed towards the owner of a two-wheeler because it was conceived to give people who rode on two-wheeler an all-weather, safe form of transportation, not (the) cheapest."

"It became termed as the cheapest car by the public, and [also] I'm sorry to say, by the company when it was being marketed," he added.


The Nano was launched in 2009 and was heavily marketed as 'the world's cheapest car', 'the Rs one lakh car' or 'the people's car'. The hype, however, didn't translate into much, with sales of the vehicle plunging 74 per cent year-on-year during the April-September period to 10,202 units.

In October 2013, Tata Motors introduced the Nano CNG emax, an eco-friendly variant that can run on petrol or CNG in a bid to revive sales. The automaker is also slated to launch a diesel-powered version of the vehicle by the end of March 2014.

"We are trying to re-launch Nano with some differences... Maybe, we can launch in another country like Indonesia, where it doesn't have the stigma or maybe it can be marketed in Europe as a changed product," he told the new channel.

Earlier this week, Tata had issued a statement saying that the Nano CNG emax has received a tremendous response and the first batch of vehicles has been all but sold out.