‘Not easy to phase out the Nano’

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on January 09, 2018

Satish B Borwankar, Executive Director and COO, Tata Motors, at a CII seminar on ‘Manufacturing Excellence’ in Kolkata - Photo: DebaSish Bhaduri

Around 1,000 Nano cars are being sold every month at the moment, the company said.

Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, Satish B Borwankar. Photo: Debasish Bhaduri

Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, Satish B Borwankar. Photo: Debasish Bhaduri   -  BusinessLine

There are sentiments attached to the world’s cheapest car, says Tata Motors COO

Leading automobile manufacturer Tata Motors will not be phasing out the Nano, the world’s cheapest car and Ratan Tata’s brainchild.

Instead, the company will look to reposition the vehicle and alternative plans are being put in place, said Tata Motors Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Satish B Borwankar.

While confirming that testing for the electric version of the Nano was recently carried out, Borwankar did not discuss its feasibility or time-frame for a rollout.

At the company’s latest AGM, shareholders had wanted the production of Nano to continue, he said. “It is not that easy to phase out the Nano. There are sentiments attached with it. Shareholders’ sentiments, company sentiments and so on,” he told BusinessLine on the sidelines of a CII programme here.

Sources indicate that the company will look to shift focus from the Nano to other passenger vehicles. The company’s Sanand, Gujarat facility produces the Nano, Tigor and Tiago.

“Nano, Tigor, Tiago share the same production line. Since the demand for Tigor and Tiago is greater, why focus on Nano? We produce very low numbers nowadays,” Borwankar added.

Data from industry body SIAM show that in FY17, 7,591 units of Nano were sold, against 21,000 in FY16. In July this year, only 260 units were sold, against 701 in July 2016.

Gaining market share

According to Borwankar, Tata Motors is working on a strategy to become the Number 3 passenger vehicle player in the country in about two years.

The strategy involves new launches, as well as new dealerships, though older and loss-making dealerships will not necessarily be exited.

Tata Motors had, for quite some time, been the Number 3 player (by sales) in the country. Subsequently, it lost the space to competitors. Borwankar, however, claimed that Tata Motors is now the fifth largest passenger carmaker in the country.

Published on August 26, 2017

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