Ratan Tata, chairman, Tata Trusts and former head of Tata Sons, the holding company of Tata conglomerate, on Wednesday admitted that they had gone wrong in branding Nano as the cheapest car of the world. Addressing students of the Great Lakes Institute of Management in Chennai at the convocation, Tata said the greatest mistake was in branding of the Nano as the cheapest instead of ‘most affordable’, which was the real intention of the company.
In fact, in our country the pre-liberalization ‘cheap is best’ mantra has become outmoded now. Several other brands too have floundered by labeling themselves ‘cheap’. Tata had marketed Nano as a ‘one-lakh-rupee’ product at time when the idea was developing. But the one-lakh was its initial base price, its price started at about 1.5 lakh rupees and over.
The Nano’s launch in 2009 was damp. Its sales numbers have kept plummeting despite attempts to refresh its image by offering it in snazzy colours and launching an eco-friendly, bi-fuel variant.
Now Tata Motors wants to launch the car by another brand name in other emerging markets like Indonesia and Europe. Tata hopes the car can return to India with a refreshed image. However, GenX Nano, the new avatar of Tata Motors’ Nano, has travelled quite a distance in a month of its launch. The company has delivered 1,000 cars to buyers yet. It is further in the process of delivering another 2,000 units.