Tata Motors, also the owner of Britain’s Jaguar Land Rover, has been universally associated with their model that is seen as the world’s mot affordable – the Nano.
The Indian automaker proposed a selling price tag of around $2,500 for the Nano back in 2009 when it was unveiled – but even if it’s the globe’s cheapest car the model failed to gain the forecasted traction. Now, five years after, the carmaker believes the “cheap” part had something to do with the failure: “It got branded as India’s cheapest car — not the most affordable or the best value for the money,” commented Ratan Tata, the company’s chairman emeritus during a visit to the US for the South Carolina Automotive Summit. The company now envisions a new-generation Nano with a larger engine, increased international appeal and, naturally – a higher price tag. Tata, the champion of the car’s development almost a decade ago, retired as chairman in December 2012 after snatching Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford. He has refrained from coming into public life since, with the rare comments made as he was awarded an honorary doctorate in automotive engineering from Clemson University.
Talking to Automotive News Editor-in-Chief Keith Crain, the executive said he wanted the development of the affordable Nano to go through as he hoped it could reach towards low-income Indian families – they could exchange the motorcycles for the safer Nano. He said the nameplate would be expanded to encompass at least two more substantial versions, though the company will live up to its promise and still offer the current dirt-cheap version of the car. He also added that Tata was now mulling an expansion for the model towards a broader international appeal, with new markets such as Indonesia and some African nations.
Via Automotive News Europe