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Old 4th February 2015, 22:48   #271
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Would be tragic to see the Nano fail. It is an important piece in the auto scene in India. With highly congested roads.

Once you get over the mind block it is a decent people carrier.
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Old 26th February 2015, 11:39   #272
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Default Re: Tata Nano - Will it ever sell in vast numbers?

The Tata Nano was introduced in 2009 as the world's cheapest car. What the Indian automaker thought would be the car's biggest selling point, turned out to be the Nano's biggest bane. Early reports of Nanos catching fire along with the Singur production facility controversy, hurt the car's perception further. Tata is now looking to overhaul the small car's image and plans to reposition the product, while possibly adding updates like a larger engine.

Link to Team-BHP news article
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Old 26th February 2015, 11:59   #273
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Default Re: Tata Nano - Will it ever sell in vast numbers?

Nano continues to face roadblock in the minds of buyers and it is very difficult to bring in changes in the settled image of Nano among buyers.

Tatas will have to change the car and its name altogether to generate interest again, the name NANO has very limited breand retention / association and the way "Cheap" tag has got associated with this car, many auto pundits see negiligible possibility of its revival in the Indian market.

Get out of it Tata, every one fails and there are no exceptions across the automobile specturm where companies have not tasted failures alongside success stories.

Develop a fresh product with new name...the numbers will follow.

Cheers
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Old 26th February 2015, 15:02   #274
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Default Re: Tata Nano - Will it ever sell in vast numbers?

Nice article. The Nano failed because it was marketed purely as a cheap car. As Indians we want maximum economy but at the same time we would not be want to be seen in a car perceived to be cheap. Nano also suffered bad initial press with issues concerning quality and in some cases, Cars catching fire. This also affected its desirability quotient. At its launch, the Maruti 800 was substantially cheaper and smaller than the competition but it was positioned as a smart modern car that was also affordable. It was never marketed as a cheap car. Tata could have easily also targeted the college going potential bike buyer by also launching a cabriolet or roadster version that would have had aspirational value. Instead Tata only targeted the low income family man. This was its undoing. An important factor in the success of European peoples cars like the beetle and Mini was that they were not single model offerings. These cars also had cabriolet/roadster versions.
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Old 26th February 2015, 16:12   #275
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Default Re: Tata Nano - Will it ever sell in vast numbers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tushar View Post
The Tata Nano was introduced in 2009 as the world's cheapest car. What the Indian automaker thought would be the car's biggest selling point, turned out to be the Nano's biggest bane. Early reports of Nanos catching fire along with the Singur production facility controversy, hurt the car's perception further. Tata is now looking to overhaul the small car's image and plans to reposition the product, while possibly adding updates like a larger engine.

Link to Team-BHP news article
Hi Tushar

First up I would like to thank you yet again for the brilliant IBW thread.

Ratan Tata never intended to market it as a cheap car. It was meant to be a revolution in common people transport, the small city car. The engineering for what it is marvellous. unfortunately they never spoke about what it takes to make a Nano. Their advertising never spoke cheap, it spoke family. Unfortunately Ratan Tata's single sentence at the Delhi auto show about it being available at a lakh was what was picked by world media. Then it was sort of damage control after that. Because it was never going to be available for a lakh after the W. Bengal flop show.

The current advertising is more in line. And I hope it is not too late. It can make a comeback like the Cooper Mini did.
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Old 26th February 2015, 16:57   #276
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Default Re: Tata Nano - Will it ever sell in vast numbers?

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Originally Posted by Taffy View Post
Hi Tushar

First up I would like to thank you yet again for the brilliant IBW thread.

Ratan Tata never intended to market it as a cheap car. It was meant to be a revolution in common people transport, the small city car. The engineering for what it is marvellous. unfortunately they never spoke about what it takes to make a Nano. Their advertising never spoke cheap, it spoke family. Unfortunately Ratan Tata's single sentence at the Delhi auto show about it being available at a lakh was what was picked by world media. Then it was sort of damage control after that. Because it was never going to be available for a lakh after the W. Bengal flop show.

The current advertising is more in line. And I hope it is not too late. It can make a comeback like the Cooper Mini did.
Thanks Taffy. Much appreciated

The problem is that the Nano got labelled the "$2500" car or "1 lakh" car a lot before it was finally unveiled. The baggage arrived before the passenger as it were, and the bad luck just followed from there. The pricing may not have been Tata's marketing cornerstone, but it was intended to be the biggest deal maker no doubt. The Nano is a great product for the price, but product image is why Apple sells so much.

I too hope it's not too late for Tata. The advertising is a lot more lifestyle oriented for younger buyers and even car rental services now offer the Nano. This "my first car" strategy is better and I genuinely hope the Nano bounces back. However, Tata will have to be patient. The stigma arrived early and has solidified over the year. Breaking that is not a challenge for the Nano alone. Tata's entire passenger car range is suffering because of the brand image, otherwise even the Zest deserves to be selling a lot more than it is right now.
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Old 26th February 2015, 17:08   #277
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Thanks Taffy. Much appreciated

Tata will have to be patient. The stigma arrived early and has solidified over the year. Breaking that is not a challenge for the Nano alone. Tata's entire passenger car range is suffering because of the brand image, otherwise even the Zest deserves to be selling a lot more than it is right now.
Spot on. Tata is doing rank bad advertising and positioning platform. A far cry from the earlier decade. Even their new horizons is a bit of s cliché. And getting masaba Gupta to design cars? Tauba tauba. :-)
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Old 26th February 2015, 18:49   #278
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Smile Re: Tata Nano - Will it ever sell in vast numbers?

It really would be the best city car with more grunt and an AMT/CVT.

I am salivating at the thought of beating auto's/ taxis at their own game.

Hopefully there will be a manual steering version for the enthusiast RWD city car
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Old 27th February 2015, 09:14   #279
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Default Re: Tata Nano - Will it ever sell in vast numbers?

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Originally Posted by Tushar View Post
This "my first car" strategy is better and I genuinely hope the Nano bounces back.
As ever, too late. Maruti already has "first car" for their 800s. IMO, they can actually make a case for the second car for city use. The one to use in a city where you cannot afford/handle an autorickshaw or taxi driver and where finding a parking spot for a bigger car is quite a task. This is in fact what the Nano does best, take you around with modest comfort in places where vehicle size is an inconvenience.

The "second car" has the potential to make it a pseudo premium.

Quote:
However, Tata will have to be patient. The stigma arrived early and has solidified over the year. Breaking that is not a challenge for the Nano alone.
Does Tata want numbers or instant profit? When I went to buy the Nano, the SA tried to convince me that the same cash payment and a modest EMI could get me the Indica or even the Zest which are "better cars". If Tata itself thinks of the Nano as an inferior merchandise, why lament the lack of sales? (I wouldn't blame the SA for making the attempt, but trying it by degrading one of their own products was too lame). Positivity should start from the seller!
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Old 27th February 2015, 12:21   #280
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Originally Posted by sun_king View Post
The "second car" has the potential to make it a pseudo premium.
Valid point. That strategy could work. Of course on the flip-side, it's too specific a strategy and may not have the mass appeal. It could also backfire and give the Nano an image of a rich man's Activa.

With their upcoming product line-up (Pelican, Kite, Kite CS), they might just confuse buyers away from showrooms. I don't imagine the Nano getting Tata salespersons a great commission, so if the difference on EMI isn't great, why wouldn't someone opt for a model above the Nano?

Last edited by Tushar : 27th February 2015 at 12:28.
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Old 27th February 2015, 14:00   #281
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Smile Re: Tata Nano - Will it ever sell in vast numbers?

To be brutally honest with you, I have driven the Nano Twist and it is a fantastic little car.
All I am waiting for now is for the Active AMT to be launched and I can bet my life that I will be the first in line to buy that car.
Come to think of it, its a brilliant little car.
Pros according to me:
* Great Air-Conditioning which can put many C segment cars to shame (owing to little space to cool down in the first place).
* AMT by Magneti Marelli is top notch as experienced in Celerio. I know many people will kill me for saying this, but if you know how to feather the throttle, the AMT works like a charm. Not to mention the peace of mind and the relief your left arm adn leg will have in heavy traffic.
* F-Tronic function within the AMT is a massive turn-on for me. Just change the gear by moving the paddle up or down. Like some old rally cars.
* Fuel economy - There have been many posts/threads about this so I am not even going to go in details. But let me add that I have personally gotten average of 21 within Pune driving the Twist with AC on. All you need to do is drive with common sense and have good spacial awareness.
* Easiest car to manoeuvre ever on the Indian market. The ePAS does its job to the T.
* Blue-tooth connectivity which also allows you to play music from your phone as well as make/receive calls.
* Powerful enough for the city. Never on any traffic lights did I feel the need to dig my right foot and pray for more power.
* Everyone is comfortable with the amount of space in the car including the passengers.

Cons according to me:
* Strictly a city car. Take it out on the highway and the power deficiency becomes apparent.
* Kind of unstable when a huge Lorry or Bus passes by. It's not very apparent but it's not confidence inspiring either.
* Exhaust Note.
* Strictly a 4 seater. Comfortable for 4 people but that's it. 5th (kid) will also find the rear sets difficult to be comfortable.

I am not including public view of the NANO brand since I don't care. I look for what suits my needs.

Based on a thorough review, I would definitely get a Tata Nano Active AMT as and when it is launched.
And a big shout-out to Aditya, who's review of the Nano twist also helped.

Cheers.

p.s. Any clue on when it's going to launch, anyone?
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Old 27th February 2015, 18:40   #282
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Default Re: Tata Nano - Will it ever sell in vast numbers?

1. Put in a reliable AMT
2. Update/the looks a bit
3. REPOSITION tit as the Car Equivalent for an Activa


Perfect for my wife/me to

a. Drop the kid school
b. Pick up the grocery
c. Quick city roundabout vehicle
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Old 1st March 2015, 02:32   #283
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Default Re: Tata Nano - Will it ever sell in vast numbers?

The problem is that the Nano name is so damaged both in India and abroad that there is no point in rejuvenating it. Instead create a new name - with the same car - make some exterior cosmetic changes, add in an AMT, price it reasonably and market it aggressively with popular stars/actors/players - and they would have decent success.

The new model they introduced - Nano twist - I would just name it Tata Twist and market it as a brand new cool and chic urban city transportation. They have to make it hip - plus also update their service centers to reflect the same. Tata service centers as of now are pretty horrendous.

Plus, improve its reliability and sales experience. Dont understand why its so tough for Tata to figure out such simple things. Just beats me.
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Old 1st March 2015, 09:24   #284
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Default Re: Tata Nano - Will it ever sell in vast numbers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by i74js View Post
Nano continues to face roadblock in the minds of buyers and it is very difficult to bring in changes in the settled image of Nano among buyers.

Tatas will have to change the car and its name altogether to generate interest again, the name NANO has very limited breand retention / association and the way "Cheap" tag has got associated with this car, many auto pundits see negiligible possibility of its revival in the Indian market.

Get out of it Tata, every one fails and there are no exceptions across the automobile specturm where companies have not tasted failures alongside success stories.

Develop a fresh product with new name...the numbers will follow.

Cheers
I do not agree with you Sir. Developing a new product isn't a cheap affair and there is no guarantee that car will sell. Tata's problem is not just the Nano, it is their entire model range.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kothamasi View Post
Tata could have easily also targeted the college going potential bike buyer by also launching a cabriolet or roadster version that would have had aspirational value. Instead Tata only targeted the low income family man. This was its undoing. An important factor in the success of European peoples cars like the beetle and Mini was that they were not single model offerings. These cars also had cabriolet/roadster versions.
The conception of the Nano was totally different. It was to be an affordable city car for the masses. Unfortunately affordable got translated some where along the line as cheap. Inexpensive, affordable and big value for small money would have been better descriptions and Tata failed to do that in their ads.

Developing cabriolet and roadster versions would have put its price in the category of the Volkswagen Vento or Hyundai Verna or Honda City. That to me would have been the epitome of how not to market a car. Apart from the costs, the weather in India is not amenable to these types of vehicles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taffy View Post
Ratan Tata never intended to market it as a cheap car. It was meant to be a revolution in common people transport, the small city car. The engineering for what it is marvellous. unfortunately they never spoke about what it takes to make a Nano. Their advertising never spoke cheap, it spoke family.
You are right. It was meant to be an inexpensive family car. Ratan Tata gives very good briefs to his engineers. For the Indica it was, "foot print of the Zen, interior space of the Ambassador and the affordability of an 800". That brief worked. But in the case of the Nano Ratan Tata also brought in the amount of Rs. 1 lakh to give his engineers a rough price line to work with.

In fact it was that figure which made the engineers think out of the box and look at a different way of making a car. They delivered. Ratan Tata kept saying that 1 lakh was not sacred. It was just a bench mark and that one lakh could even by 1 lakh 25 or 30 thousand. But the press latched on to the 1 lakh bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sun_king View Post
Does Tata want numbers or instant profit? When I went to buy the Nano, the SA tried to convince me that the same cash payment and a modest EMI could get me the Indica or even the Zest which are "better cars". If Tata itself thinks of the Nano as an inferior merchandise, why lament the lack of sales? (I wouldn't blame the SA for making the attempt, but trying it by degrading one of their own products was too lame). Positivity should start from the seller!
For me this is the most pertinent point and I have been saying in almost every post of mine regarding Tata cars that it is not the advertising that is letting them down but the dealers and the salesmen. They have done everything under their power to push the Nano out of the mind space of the people. The negative impact of this is enormous. Who will buy a car that is being looked down upon by the dealers?

The Nano plot was lost in the showrooms, not in advertisements or on the roads. I have had a Nano for nearly 5 years and I can tell you that it is problem free. Never gave me a cause for complaint. Seeing mine some four others bought the car and are quite happy. Some of them have even made it their only car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DevilzzzzOwn View Post
To be brutally honest with you, I have driven the Nano Twist and it is a fantastic little car.
All I am waiting for now is for the Active AMT to be launched and I can bet my life that I will be the first in line to buy that car.
Come to think of it, its a brilliant little car.
Pros according to me:
* Great Air-Conditioning which can put many C segment cars to shame (owing to little space to cool down in the first place).
* AMT by Magneti Marelli is top notch as experienced in Celerio. I know many people will kill me for saying this, but if you know how to feather the throttle, the AMT works like a charm. Not to mention the peace of mind and the relief your left arm adn leg will have in heavy traffic.
* F-Tronic function within the AMT is a massive turn-on for me. Just change the gear by moving the paddle up or down. Like some old rally cars.
* Fuel economy - There have been many posts/threads about this so I am not even going to go in details. But let me add that I have personally gotten average of 21 within Pune driving the Twist with AC on. All you need to do is drive with common sense and have good spacial awareness.
* Easiest car to manoeuvre ever on the Indian market. The ePAS does its job to the T.
* Blue-tooth connectivity which also allows you to play music from your phone as well as make/receive calls.
* Powerful enough for the city. Never on any traffic lights did I feel the need to dig my right foot and pray for more power.
* Everyone is comfortable with the amount of space in the car including the passengers.

Cons according to me:
* Strictly a city car. Take it out on the highway and the power deficiency becomes apparent.
* Kind of unstable when a huge Lorry or Bus passes by. It's not very apparent but it's not confidence inspiring either.
* Exhaust Note.
* Strictly a 4 seater. Comfortable for 4 people but that's it. 5th (kid) will also find the rear sets difficult to be comfortable.

I am not including public view of the NANO brand since I don't care. I look for what suits my needs.

Based on a thorough review, I would definitely get a Tata Nano Active AMT as and when it is launched.
And a big shout-out to Aditya, who's review of the Nano twist also helped.
Agree with you fully on all things except the bit about it cannot be taken out of the city. A friend of mine drove from Bangalore to Goa and back in a Nano with his wife and two dogs. He says he could cruise between 80 and 90 kph and given that Indian roads throw surprises at us that is okay. He also drove the same car with the same payload to Hyderabad as well.

The AMT will be a boon for lady drivers who have learnt to drive a bit late and therefore are not comfortable with shifting gears in bumper to bumper traffic. I am also waiting for the AMT so that I can gift the car to my wife so that she will feel driving easier. I personally do not think that the rear opening hatch is a must but apparently lot of people want it so that is okay too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deltheking View Post
The problem is that the Nano name is so damaged both in India and abroad that there is no point in rejuvenating it. Instead create a new name - with the same car - make some exterior cosmetic changes, add in an AMT, price it reasonably and market it aggressively with popular stars/actors/players - and they would have decent success.

The new model they introduced - Nano twist - I would just name it Tata Twist and market it as a brand new cool and chic urban city transportation. They have to make it hip - plus also update their service centers to reflect the same. Tata service centers as of now are pretty horrendous.

Plus, improve its reliability and sales experience. Dont understand why its so tough for Tata to figure out such simple things. Just beats me.
The Nano name is not damaged. In a survey conducted recently (please forgive me, I cannot recall the name of the agency that did it but if you do an internet search you will get the name) the Tata Nano was rated third in the list of trustworthy brands of India. So the name is not the problem. And if I am not mistaken this was the second year in a row that the Nano achieved this. Naming it Tata Twist is not an option. It is not just the Nano that has a problem. Problems exist with all the Tata cars; from the Nano to the Aria.

In fact if you look at the sales of January, 2015 and dis-aggregate the sales of Indica/Vista and Indigo/Manza you will see that the Nano is the third best selling car from the Tata stables only behind the Zest and the Bolt. Things like "the name is not good, the engine is unreliable (it is very reliable), it uncomfortable" are all urban legends perpetuated by people who have never driven the car. Those who drove it and own one will tell you otherwise.

So making the car costly with unnecessary add-on parts and innovations that take away attention from the real innovations of the car are not required. Its the showroom where Tata needs to get its act right. The car will sell.

Last edited by sadsack : 1st March 2015 at 09:35.
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Old 2nd March 2015, 11:14   #285
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We owned a Nano LX 2012 model with the special edition pack for 2 years. In those 2 years, we drove it for around 20,000 km. Majority of the usage was intended to be in-city, though I ended up doing many highway runs with it. My father-in-law has the car now as we moved out of India.

Though the car was originally meant for my wife, she managed to take away my Ritz (women!) and it was me who ended up using the Nano for most of its 20,000 km.

This is my feedback:

Positives
(1) Reliability - The Nano was our first non-Maruti car and being a Tata, there was a bit of apprehension when we made the purchase. But we never had any niggles or breakdowns with it.

(2) Fuel efficiency - during my city runs in crowded Bangalore traffic with air-con running pretty much all the time, the car used to manage around 18 km/l which I feel was pretty good. During long highway runs, the car used to return around 23 km / l consistently which I think is really good considering the driving speeds were high (around 85 - 90 km/h) for such a small engine.

(3) Maneuverability - For such a small car, I think it is obvious that it is agile and maneuverable. The small turning radius was a big boon in city roads and especially near our home for short shopping trips and pretty much running errands.

(4) Visibility - May be it is the large glass-house or the thinner A-pillar, but I used to find the overall visibility better than my Ritz (in which I had a few scary moments in corners due to the A-pillar hampering visibility).

(5) Passenger comfort - I have never had anyone complaining of headroom or legroom in the Nano. We had our in-laws visiting us quite often and 4 of us with a child-seat fitted for my daughter was not too bad. We used to have an Alto K10 earlier and that was more of a struggle.

(6) Lighting and air-con - I don't have any benchmarks other than my Ritz. The aircon and lighting were better in the Nano which costed less than the half of what our Ritz did. The aircon cooled really well and sometimes, a bit too well! The lighting (head-lamps / fog-lamps combo) was much more effective in the Nano.

(7) Cost of ownership - I don't have the figures with me, but we had bought an AMC from Tata along with extended warranty. The service costs have been reasonable and the 10,000 km / 1 year intervals are appreciated.

Not-so-positives:
(1) Power steering - I believe the main reason why my wife happily gave up the Nano (she learnt driving in it) once she drove the Ritz was mainly because she found the power steering of the Ritz much more comfortable. Although the lack of a power steering does not matter much once on the move, at parking speeds, the Nano definitely needs assistance. I am glad they added the Twist version at least now.

(2) Windshield washer and wiper : The street in front of our home used to have a lot of traffic and as a result ,had a lot of dust flying around. Also, during day-time, the car used to be parked under a tree in front of the house. The windshield used to get dirty easily and the washer and wiper did not help much at all (this was the case from Day 1). I worked with MSIL R&D for 5 years and understand value engineering pretty well, but that washer design is not useful in any way. A few drops of water dribbling down an already ineffective wiper blade is sad, to say the least. I usually like my hatchbacks with a rear wiper-washer and defogger (as in our Ritz ZXi), but I understand that you cannot get a fully loaded car for 2.5 lakh of your rupees. But Tata, when you give just one wiper and one washer for your car, at least give one which does its job well?

(3) Luggage space - Other than the washer-wiper, the major issue I had was with the boot. For a car that small, the space was not bad at all. But the lack of a fifth door made life difficult indeed. Also, the rear parcel tray (good on Tata's part to provide it rather than omit it completely) which folds along with the rear seat is a pain when you want to access the boot and have things sitting on the shelf. In our case we had many of my 3 year old daughter's soft toys on the parcel tray and it was annoying to take everything off to access the luggage space.

(4) Ergonomics - Though I was ok with the seating position and the controls, one thing which used to irritate me always was the placement of power-window switches. Yes, it takes more money to give better door pads and do some extra wiring, but please, I would any day take a manual winder on the door panel for which I don't have to contort myself to operate.

(5) Service experience - Though I visited the service center only thrice in the two years that we had the Nano, I am glad I did not have to visit more often. The service quality in itself may not have been shabby, but our dealer's service center (Prerana Motors, Kudlu Gate) and staff lacked any sort of warmth or personal experience. No one looked happy to work there and I could not see a single smile on anyone's face there. I wasn't looking to be treated like royalty, but I guess I had some minimum expectations after using Maruti cars for a decade. A smile costs nothing, but would mean a lot to the person receiving it. Also, we had an incident which required a paint-job. The paint-job itself was not bad, but there was over-spray and stains all over the car which took some effort from my side to convince the manager and get corrected.

Overall, I think the Nano has the potential to be a very successful car if Tata Motors handles it the right way, and fast, before the whole brand is killed for good. I hope it is clear to Tata Motors at least by now that it could be a very popular urban runabout.

Please give a boot which can be opened, a larger engine at least as a higher variant, place the power-window switches on the door pad, give a proper wiper and washer and teach your service center staff to smile. Do all this Tata, and I promise I will buy another Nano the day I move back to India. Feel free to charge me extra for all these and I will pay happily for a better Nano.
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