The Tata Nano is better known as the people’s car; the Indian car. Nano was a statement made by India to the world that India has arrived. It is what the common man aspired; the one lakh car; the dream of every middle class Indian family. The car which cost $2500 at its launch created ripples throughout the world. The rates went up with time owing to increase in material costs and now stand at around $2900. The price tag was its USP and the rate at which bookings began; Tata had to go with a lottery system to deliver cars initially. Everyone wanted to own one.In spite of this, the journey for Tata Nano from its conception to launch wasn’t easy and it had to overcome many hurdles before it could be made available to the public.
But once the Nano was on the road, amidst rave reviews, a few critics arose as they always would. An owner on being asked confessed that, “The car makes a lot of noise and it feels like driving a Rickshaw!” It is unrealistic to ask for a Ferrari-like driving pleasure from a one-lakh rupee car, but there was a lull in the demand or rather the masses were a bit skeptic about owning a Nano now. And what fuelled this fire was a few Nano’s catching fire. There were incidents with brand new cars catching fire and that too within a few days of rolling out of the showroom. These fires didn’t have any foreseeable reasons either. This was very bad publicity for the world’s cheapest car and Tata Motors had to come up with something to undo the trend of slumping sales.
There’s a very peculiar trend in the sales numbers. The sales were bound to slump after the fire incidents but what was it that got Nano back up on its feet? There are many factors which lead to this upheaval and the credit entirely goes to the company.
Firstly, after the November sales report amidst customer complaints regarding safety, the company offered an additional safety kit to all Tata Nano customers free of cost in December 2010. This was to make sure fool-proof safety of the engine compound of the car. This initiative played some role in rebuilding confidence in the product.
Secondly, Tata has more than doubled the vehicle's warranty to four years or 60,000 kilometers along with a `99 maintenance program and at the same time, has opened up more financing options. In addition to this, the new “Khushiyon ki Chaabi” campaign has managed to strike a chord with the common man and has given him a sense of security. The marketing campaign has been a huge success and helped a lot in the recent surge of sales.
Thirdly, in a first of its kind deal, Tata Motors has tied up with Future Group to sell the Nano in Big Bazaar outlets. Big Bazaar as a concept appeals to the masses and with over 150 million footfalls every year, plays a huge role in the resurgence of the Nano.
With all these factors in its favor, the Nano is going from strength to strength and sure does look on its way to achieving greater feats.