In 2008 Tata Motors, the automotive arm of India’s largest conglomerate Tata Group, had come up with Tata Nano, which was touted as the world’s cheapest car at Rs 100,000 (US$ 1,548). They had positioned this no-frills car to appeal to the vast segment of Indians who use two-wheelers and expected it to be a game-changer in the volume-driven, entry-level car market.
However, Tata Nano’s sales graph was a big letdown and it proved hardly any threat to costlier small cars in the Indian market. Former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry had pegged the cumulative losses arising from the Nano project at Rs 64 billion (US$ 991 million).
Now the company is likely to phase out this under-performing car from the Indian market, reports Business Standard. Tata Nano is unlikely to be upgraded to comply with Bharat Stage (BS)-VI emission norms, which will become mandatory from April 2020, the daily added.
After that, Tata Nano could only be exported to countries with less stringent emission standards, but here too the numbers are far from encouraging. During April and May 2017-2018, only 50 cars were exported and in 2016-17, Tata Motors exported 595 Nanos.
Apart from emission norms, by 2019 Nano will also have to pass the mandatory crash tests, which will make the car costlier. As of now, suppliers have not been asked to ready for BS-VI compliant components for Nano, the daily added.
Meanwhile, Tata Motors is focusing on its latest offerings Tiago (hatchback) and Tigor (sedan) and the sales have been encouraging. In May 2017, the company sold 10,855 units, a growth of 27%, thanks to a strong demand for Tiago and Tigor. Hence it is unlikely to make any major investment for its Nano platform.