The dream of Tata Motors to develop an inexpensive rear-engined hatchback intended to appeal to current riders of motorcycles and scooters has almost come to an end in India as the factory did not produce a single car for the last nine months from January 2019.
According to the official records, it has been revealed that Tata Motors has not produced a single Nano car since January 2019; still the company has failed to announce any final decision.
At the same time, Tata Motors has acknowledged the fact that the Nano model cannot meet the new safety regulations and BS-VI emission norms. Overall, only one unit of the car has been sold this year in February.
Ratan Tata envisaged a car model that would be affordable for many more Indians. Initially available at the price of about Rs.1 lakh, Nano was launched at the Auto Expo in 2009 with great fanfare.
According to Tata, promoting it as ‘the cheapest car’ was a big mistake. Company officials have been hinting at halting both the production and sales of the Nano car from April 2020. Only 299 units of the model were sold during the January to September 2018 period.
From the beginning onwards, Tata Motors met with numerous obstacles such delays during the factory relocation from Singur to Sanand, early instances of the Nano catching fire, the perception of the car being unsafe and lacking quality due to cost cutting led to increased reliability.
Tata Motors projected production of 250,000 annually at launch, actually achieving sales of 7591 for model year 2016-17. The project lost money for Tata, confirmed by former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry and confirmed by current Tata Motors management. The ex-chairman of Tata Sons, Cyrus Mistry alleged that the Nano consistently lost value. According to him, there was “no line of sight to profitability for the Nano” or any turnaround strategy. He also revealed that the company refrained from scrapping this model due to “emotional reasons”.