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Old 14th August 2013, 22:04   #91
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Default Re: Tata Nano - Will it ever sell in vast numbers?

Tata need some fresh blood in the marketing division.

Their last truly good ad I remember is the Safari 'Reclaim your life' campaign. That was ages ago in marketing terms.
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Old 15th August 2013, 10:15   #92
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Originally Posted by FlatOut View Post
So a sporting version of the Nano should take part in competition, and win. Then the public will begin to believe in it, big time.
A Nano racing series competition. With the age of the drivers limited to, say, below 21!
And Tata needs to develop performance kits from those cars that can be retrofitted to road Nanos of all vintages. I would pick up one any time - for one it would come without affecting what is a class leading manufacturer warranty. And two, it would be race proven.
Something like Stage 1, 2 and 3 kits.
Instead of the cosmetic personalisation kits being marketed just now.
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Old 15th August 2013, 11:14   #93
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Nano is not designed for racing. A true racing variant will need to undergo a lot of structural changes. A few cosmetic add ons and swanky stickers will not do. I personally feel Tata needs to go back to drawing board and come out with a new quality affordable (3-5 lakhs) hybrid/electric model to really grab 'people's car' moniker.
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Old 15th August 2013, 11:29   #94
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Default Re: Tata Nano - Will it ever sell in vast numbers?

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Originally Posted by click View Post
Nano is not designed for racing. A true racing variant will need to undergo a lot of structural changes. A few cosmetic add ons and swanky stickers will not do. I personally feel Tata needs to go back to drawing board and come out with a new quality affordable (3-5 lakhs) hybrid/electric model to really grab 'people's car' moniker.
I strongly disagree with you Sir. While you are absolutely right about the Nano not being designed for racing and therefore should not be racing it, I do not think that Tata needs to go back to the drawing board. The Nano is a very good car, with a great deal of thought behind the design and what I like most about it is the affordability factor. There are many people (including myself) who have without worrying about finances bought a Nano, simply because when I bought it even the top LX model was about Rs. 2,42,000.

I hear stories about how India is becoming more and more affluent, but that is not really true since the high income groups are few and the lower income groups are many. Whatever we say on this forum about sales or reason for no sales is ultimately conjecture, and I say it is for Tata as a company to crack the puzzle and push the Nano. I do know one thing for sure and that is Tata radically need to change their dealers and salesman. When I purchased the Nano, I had to persuade the salesman to believe that the Nano was a good car and that he need not be apologetic about selling it. Another company that is victim to this attitude of the salesmen is Force Motors. We had considered buying the Force One for our institution and were told by the salesman to not buy it.

As members of the forum, however high our interest in automobiles maybe, we cannot chalk out sales strategies; that the manufacturer can do and should do. But hybrid car in the range of 3-5 lakhs INR will make a very affordable car most unaffordable. Right now the Nano has no competition. By going into the 3-5 lakh rupees bracket it will go straight into the most competitive segment. Tata has to learn to sell this affordable car, set an example so that more people are interested in entering this segment and enlarging the size of the car market.
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Old 15th August 2013, 15:50   #95
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Default Re: Tata Nano - Will it ever sell in vast numbers?

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Originally Posted by sadsack View Post
you are absolutely right about the Nano not being designed for racing and therefore should not be racing it,
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Originally Posted by click View Post
Nano is not designed for racing.
Why ever not? The Mini wasn't but have you seen a Mini Cooper in action? The Polo/Etios are not, but they race in their own series.
We aren't talking Formula 1.
Win races on Sunday, sell more cars on Monday - well known words in the industry.
As I see, this is one more arrow in the quiver. The Nano is such a car that it can be many different things for a broad range of user segments. Focusing on just one segment at the cost of any of the many others isn't going to garner it the volumes it has to potential to sell in.
Racing creates excitement and buzz about the car that rubs off across categories. It also is a great test bed for the maker to enhance performance in a reliable way for the road cars.
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Old 15th August 2013, 16:07   #96
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Default Re: Tata Nano - Will it ever sell in vast numbers?

I guess there are two main problems with the nano, one is its twin cylinder engine's sound and the other one being image issue of having the cheapest car.

Would be great if tata can modify the car's looks completely and swap the two cylinder with a three cylinder motor and call it Vista mini!(no indica please).They can price it in between nano and aging indica with lots of goodies like ABS airbags.

Hope Tata is listening
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Old 15th August 2013, 16:10   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
...... They have used everything except the word cheap in the ad, IIRC. I believe if this would have been the first Nano ad, then even the previous versions would have fared better. I am sceptical that even this ad would do much good to the Nano- After all re-positioning a product is not an easy task; that too which can be termed as a marketing failure ..
I would like to contest this point of marketing failure (though many may not agree). Being a marketing guy I am able to understand the point of cheap. ..infact more importantly cheapest.
Today Big Bazaar and Saravana Stores are minting money, just because of the fact that they are cheaper. They are proud to claim they are cheaper and it shows their financial soundness. Everyone knows the acceptable quality levels for the money they spend and don't look beyond. But no one will accept the fact of brand new Nano getting into fire just out of showroom. This was publicized very strongly and said cheap product is not safe, as they have compromised on quality. This is where the problem started and communicated a message Nano is not a safe car. Infact i would say Nano was the costliest price Tata has paid for their compromise in quality.
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Old 15th August 2013, 16:52   #98
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Default Re: Tata Nano - Will it ever sell in vast numbers?

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I would like to contest this point of marketing failure (though many may not agree). Being a marketing guy I am able to understand the point of cheap. ..infact more importantly cheapest.
Today Big Bazaar and Saravana Stores are minting money, just because of the fact that they are cheaper. They are proud to claim they are cheaper and it shows their financial soundness. Everyone knows the acceptable quality levels for the money they spend and don't look beyond. But no one will accept the fact of brand new Nano getting into fire just out of showroom. This was publicized very strongly and said cheap product is not safe, as they have compromised on quality. This is where the problem started and communicated a message Nano is not a safe car. Infact i would say Nano was the costliest price Tata has paid for their compromise in quality.
I dont think it is fair to compare the kind of products that Sarvana or Big Bazar is selling to a car.

A car remains a possesion of the higher class in India. Even an Alto is considered "luxury".

And the Nano came at a time, where urban India was getting richer and seeing big dreams and India had just come off a period of 8-10% growth. At that time people did not want to buy something that was the cheapest of its kind, especially in an aspirational product. That is where the entire idea of the Nano being the cheapest car hurt Tata a lot.

On the other hand, if Tata had concentrated on smaller towns, with Nano exclusive dealerships, towns where 2-wheeler sales was the only sales, the Nano could have garnered quite a bit more sales in my view. Even today if they expand dealership network to the really small towns, they can still improve numbers. In these towns, the effect of it being a cheap product would have been less. Today a large percentage of Nanos, are 2nd or 3rd cars of the family. The product was great for a family looking to migrate from a bike to a car, but unfortunately the marketing did not cater well enough to that demographic.

As for the product quality, I think the Nano quality is probably the best among all Tata cars. The fire issue was more of a design issue, rather than quality issue. The electronics had just not been designed to handle the kind of accessories that were run on those cars. And let me say, that Tata are not unique in having made such small design mistakes. A lot of companies, with cars that cost over 50L have made mistakes which led to cars burning down.
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Old 15th August 2013, 19:01   #99
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Default Re: Tata Nano - Will it ever sell in vast numbers?

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Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
Everyone knows the acceptable quality levels for the money they spend and don't look beyond. But no one will accept the fact of brand new Nano getting into fire just out of showroom. This was publicized very strongly and said cheap product is not safe, as they have compromised on quality. This is where the problem started and communicated a message Nano is not a safe car. Infact i would say Nano was the costliest price Tata has paid for their compromise in quality.
Who publicized that the Nano was a product that was cheap and is not safe?
It was as I had written in another post in this very thread, done by half baked journalists on the internet and even before the car was launched most internet automobile forums were full of posts about how this car will be a coffin on wheels etc. I do not think that most of the people who have written off the car actually sat in a Nano, leave alone drive it.

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Originally Posted by Sawyer View Post
Why ever not? The Mini wasn't but have you seen a Mini Cooper in action? The Polo/Etios are not, but they race in their own series.
We aren't talking Formula 1.
Win races on Sunday, sell more cars on Monday - well known words in the industry.
As I see, this is one more arrow in the quiver. The Nano is such a car that it can be many different things for a broad range of user segments. Focusing on just one segment at the cost of any of the many others isn't going to garner it the volumes it has to potential to sell in.
Racing creates excitement and buzz about the car that rubs off across categories. It also is a great test bed for the maker to enhance performance in a reliable way for the road cars.
The Nano is no Mini Cooper or a Polo or Etios. The Nano is a high car with a very high centre of gravity and will likely tip over if certain kinds of turns are attempted over certain speeds. A car that is race prepared will have to overcome these shortcomings and finally the car that actually goes racing has little do with the car sold in the market place. The Polo infact is testimony to this, as is the Etios. What has the Polo racing cup achieved for the Polo? An average sale of about 2,000 units a month? The Mini Cooper is a different story from a different era. It was low and lent itself to racing something that the Nano cannot. Let us be very clear. The Nano is a good car that can efficiently do what it has been conceived for. But it is no super car that can do more than that. Starting a Nano racing series would be the greatest disaster that the Tatas can afflict upon themselves.
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Old 15th August 2013, 19:57   #100
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Default Re: Tata Nano - Will it ever sell in vast numbers?

My colleagues often ask why the nano sells fewer units than much pricier SUVs and sedans. It defies logic that a cost effective car that looks pretty decent with sufficient space for four adults and decent fuel economy does not sell like hot cakes in a price sensitive country . At the outset it is a mystery. But as highlighted in many of the earlier posts the 'cheapest car in the market' tag probably made the product less desirable to a large section of the target market. The whole fire fiasco created an impression of poor quality. But then again a host of cars, including an unfortunate lamborghini at the airport in Chennai, have been going up in flames across the length and breadth of the country.

Would the Nano have fared better if, from the inception stage, it was...
1. Positioned as a modern compact - small\cute on the outside, big on the inside with benchmark fuel economy and low maintenance costs
2. Was priced slightly higher than the cheapest car available in the market at the time (M800 I suppose)

Id put my money on yes.

But having come this far it would be an uphill task for Tata to reposition the Nano unless there is a major change to its powertrain (layout?) accompanied by external design changes.
However there is a likelihood that the nano will have a strong second coming when it catches on in smaller towns and villages.

Have not had the opportunity to drive one but I did inspect one during an auto show and was really impressed with the space. From what I have been given to understand the quality is not any worse than other products from the Tata stable. As indicated in an earlier post maybe even slightly better.

Last edited by Zed : 15th August 2013 at 20:22.
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Old 15th August 2013, 21:10   #101
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Default Re: Tata Nano - Will it ever sell in vast numbers?

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Originally Posted by sadsack View Post


The Nano is no Mini Cooper or a Polo or Etios. The Nano is a high car with a very high centre of gravity and will likely tip over if certain kinds of turns are attempted over certain speeds. A car that is race prepared will have to overcome these shortcomings and finally the car that actually goes racing has little do with the car sold in the market place. Starting a Nano racing series would be the greatest disaster that the Tatas can afflict upon themselves.
Really?
Check this out!
http://topic.ibnlive.in.com/narain-k...rA-204851.html
Or, read this:
Ace Indian Formula 1 driver Narain Karthikeyan recently drove the Tata Nano at the Madras Motorsports Club racetrack at Sriperumbudur along with numerous supercars which included Porsches, Lamborghinis, BMWs & Mercedes Benz for the annual Autocar India track day.

Dubbed as the fastest Indian in the world, Narain was absolutely surprised with the Nano when the standard road car (with no modifications whatsoever) blazed the lap time charts setting an astonishing time just of 2 mins and 45 secs. The rear engine along with rear wheel drive helped Narain in accelerating out of corners much faster and easier, and
Narain as well as the experts at Autocar were overwhelmed as pre lap calculations based on times set by other cars, suggested that the Nano wouldn’t do a lap time of less than 3 minutes.

Last edited by Sawyer : 15th August 2013 at 21:16.
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Old 16th August 2013, 01:12   #102
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Of ALL the reasons, IMO the most important reason is that the Nano 'Promise' wasn't delivered on time.

TATA had to delay the launch for such a long time that people ran out of patience. Thing is, no matter how cheap your offer, the buyers would wait only until it doesn't hurt their dignity. Not only did people lose interest, society developed contempt towards the offering as a whole.

Say, if a cricket match was being played & the organisers delayed the sale of tickets by a day then it'd be OK (on Day 2), but if they kept delaying then on day 3 half the people would've left, on day 4 all the excitement would die down and 25% people who were there just coz they really wanted to see cricket would go, on Day 5 there'd be only Die-hard cricket fans & some people who're there to just pass their time (25% people). TATA had to launch the Nano on 'Day 6' when only the most loyal TATA fans would buy the car and Some (no offence)poor people who just couldn't afford a better car (10-12%) would wait to buy one. And that's exactly what's happening.

All this while Maruti was winning people's hearts with their ads & Readily Available Alto (and other products).

Sadly, TATA did the same thing to Safari. The launch of Storme was atleast 2-3years late. Because of that, most of the fan-following of Safari just HAD TO abandon it. Moreover high maintenance costs, unappealing ads & service center hassles made it all the more easier for people to forget / scratch out TATA from their lists.

Overall, its been a company that responded VERY late to the people's demand, and they're facing the consequences of that.

Yet there's this tiny part in me that keeps whispering that TATA shouldn't lose hope, and that someday, somehow people will realise & feel that TATA is seriously trying to reach out with what seem to be seriously amazing offerings like the Nano & Storme.

Last edited by GrammarNazi : 16th August 2013 at 01:28.
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Old 16th August 2013, 09:34   #103
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Default Re: Tata Nano - Will it ever sell in vast numbers?

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Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
Being a marketing guy I am able to understand the point of cheap. ..infact more importantly cheapest.
Of the 3Ps in marketing, one needs to understand the dynamics of the first P - 'product', which is different for different products. This is rightly pointed out in the post below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by julupani View Post
I dont think it is fair to compare the kind of products that Sarvana or Big Bazar is selling to a car.

A car remains a possession of the higher class in India. Even an Alto is considered "luxury".
I clearly remember, my previous company having done a SWOT analysis for a TML executive before the Nano launch. The biggest threat that we had anticipated was that buying a car still remains an aspiration in India. And no matter how cleverly Nano is positioned, it inherently violates emotions of an aspiring car buyer. In internal discussions, we felt Nano would mostly never be bought by a first time car buyer, but by people who already owned a car. (People in TML disagreed on this) We wanted to put this as a weakness, but since Nano meant so much to TML, we put this point as a threat.
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Old 16th August 2013, 11:20   #104
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Sadly, TATA did the same thing to Safari. The launch of Storme was atleast 2-3years late.
Even that would have been justified, if they had used the time to get the product right first time. Or as close to it as the competition seems to be able to. Other than Mahindra of course, they are just as bad in this regard. It isn't an Indian worker thing, all the competition is also staffed with Indian workmen/managers. It may be an Indian leadership thing that allows a thinking of "90% is good enough" to permeate in their companies.

The Storme looks like it was designed by a dysfunctional committee. The Safari, for all its age, still looks better. I burst out laughing when I was told by the dealer that JLR design inputs have gone into the Storme.

And the test drive Storme example that I came across, had a rear door that wasn't opening from either inside or out, because of a glitch. On enquiry, the dealer told me that this was something that TML was addressing, it seemed to be a design issue.

How can you sell a customer a 15 lakh car, if the test drive car has visible glitches?
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Old 17th August 2013, 11:14   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawyer View Post
Really?
Check this out!
http://topic.ibnlive.in.com/narain-k...rA-204851.html
Or, read this:
Ace Indian Formula 1 driver Narain Karthikeyan recently drove the Tata Nano at the Madras Motorsports Club racetrack at Sriperumbudur along with numerous supercars which included Porsches, Lamborghinis, BMWs & Mercedes Benz for the annual Autocar India track day.

Dubbed as the fastest Indian in the world, Narain was absolutely surprised with the Nano when the standard road car (with no modifications whatsoever) blazed the lap time charts setting an astonishing time just of 2 mins and 45 secs. The rear engine along with rear wheel drive helped Narain in accelerating out of corners much faster and easier, and
Narain as well as the experts at Autocar were overwhelmed as pre lap calculations based on times set by other cars, suggested that the Nano wouldn’t do a lap time of less than 3 minutes.
Narain Karthikeyan is contracted to TATA who have been the main reason for his continuance in motorsport/car racing despite odds being stacked against him. I don't think Narain will ever say anything against a TATA product. I do not want to continue this discussion endlessly so this will be the last time I will say something about the racing ability of the Nano. Narain is a talented driver so he can race a Nano perhaps.

But for very ordinary mortals like me taking a bend which is quite sharp at a speed of more than 40 kmph in a Nano is pretty unnerving. My heart goes faster than the car at such moments. And it really is not worth the trouble. And so I maintain that racing is not a solution that the Nano requires. In fact, some boy racers inspired by what professionals do on race track may just drive the car rashly on roads and topple and do further damage to the reputation of the car, which is finding it difficult to come out of all the negative publicity that has been heaped on it.

I would say that it is totally upto the marketing team of Tata to market the Nano as an affordable car with good features in it; for that is exactly what the Nano is. Pricing the car higher will be a great disservice to people who need a Nano to get into the car league. Despite all the negative publicity the numbers that the Nano is selling in is demonstration of how many people actually require the Nano to be sold at the price points at which it is sold. I was/am one of them and so bought the car without hesitation and more than two years later I have no regrets.
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