Ratan Tata, industrialist and chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, was present at the 11th convocation of Great Lakes Institute of Management in Chennai. In an interview he admitted that branding the Nano hatchback as the cheapest car rather than ‘the most affordable car’ was the biggest mistake they did.
During an interaction with the students of Great Lakes Institute of Management, he said, "Nano was made to reach out to people, (but) it never has. It is meant to be reachable throughout India with our dealerships. But we made our bunch of mistakes. And that had a negative impact on the car in the market, people did not want to be seen in the cheapest car and I think that has been our greatest deficiency that has disenabled the car to perform what it was trying to do."
The Tata Nano's design team was led by a group of young professionals aged between 25 or 26. They had their challenges developing a car that Indian consumers could purchase for under a lakh. And though it was eventually wrongly branded, the launch of the car was in itself a big achievement for the company. It was a success far beyond expectation.
The Tata Nano you see today and the Nano hatchback that was initially planned to be introduced to the Indian market are worlds apart. The hatchback that was at first planned was mainly designed to be able to be priced within a lakh rupees making it affordable for the common man. It meant it was devoid of all the features and the technological wizardry that the current Nano gets.
Today, the Nano is offered with the AMT (automated manual gearbox) transmission, which is termed to be one of the latest technologies available in the few cars sold today. Equipped with many new features, the car provides consumers a good package and is enjoying a good demand currently.
So the company that made mistakes in the sales and marketing of the Nano, which not only left a blemish but also distanced people from the car, will finally breathe a sigh of relief. Though they were not able to stick to their initial plans, they still have a winner in the form of the Tata Nano GenX today.