TATA Nano – the car of the future or a white elephant?

Posted on Mar 25 2009 - 10:07pm by Richard Sharp

tatonanoThe very latest micro car, the TATA Nano Car reputedly the world’s cheapest car has been launched this week in Mumbai, India. The price tag for the car is just over 100,000 rupees which equates to about £1,400. The manufacturer is charging a fee to anyone who would like to be entered on the waiting list to order the TATA Nano car and deliveries in India are expected to begin in July.

The car has achieved its low price by minimizing cost on unnecessary ‘luxuries’, the basic Nano comes without front and rear fog lights, without a heater or air conditioning, without anti-lock brakes, only one single windscreen wiper, manually operated windows, manual steering with no air bags, tiny 12” wheels, plastic body parts joined with adhesive instead of more conventional metal and welding and a two cylinder 623cc engine that provides a massive maximum speed of 65 mph. Hang on to your hats when you take this baby out!

The manufacturers of the TATA Nano Car are aiming to provide an affordable mode of transport to their initial target market of lower income families in India. The car manufacturer will also produce higher specification models which includes the Nano CX and the ‘top of the range’ Nano LX. This appears from inspection of the ‘specifications’ to be a third rate car aimed at a third world country and although the company is predicting launching the car in the UK it is unlikely to gain any Euro NCAP stars in its present form.

Tata, headed by company chairman Ratan N. Tata are a huge Indian company that also owns Jaguar and Land Rover as well as Corus Steel and Tetley Tea. Tata have posted a huge loss in the last quarter to December 2008 of $54m and are hoping that Tata Nano car sales will meet target to assist with the repayment of a £1billion bridging loan used to purchase Land Rover and Jaguar from Ford in 2008.

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