Top Indian automaker Tata says it plans to reposition the Nano as a “smart city car” after its marketing pitch as the world's cheapest car resulted in disappointing sales.
The Nano was launched in 2009 as a budget solution for millions of aspirational lower-middle class Indian families wanting to change from two to four-wheel vehicles. But status-conscious consumers largely shunned the “cheap” tag.
Tata chairman Cyrus Mistry told shareholders at its annual meeting on Wednesday in Mumbai: “We are now focusing on increasing the features and the perceived value of the Nano with every subsequent model launch.
“We are making it a smart city car and targeting the young customers.”
The jellybean-shaped Nano, which sold for about $2200 (R22 700) when its first edition went on the market, saw sales drop by more than 27 percent in the year to March, and former Tata chairman Ratan Tata - the driving force behind the Nano - admitted the car had an image problem.