• Sep 23, 2009

Tata Nano - Click above for high-res image gallery
The Tata Nano continues to take India by storm, and residents of the world's second most populous country appear to have gone over the deep end in an effort to secure their own personal "people's car." Australian website Drive is reporting that car buyers are paying a markup of up to 30% to purchase secondhand Nanos from the initial batch of buyers. The pent-up demand for the Nano stems in part from the fact that far more people signed up to purchase the econobox than Tata Motors has the factory capacity to build. To distribute the initial Nano allotment fairly, Tata instituted a lottery system to choose the first 100,000 customers eligible to buy the $2,500 city car.

One would think that the source of this heavy demand comes from families looking to secure a still inexpensive car, but a Mumbai car salesman seems to think it has more to do with an odd "fetish" for the car. Arif Fazulbhoy reportedly told Drive that the wealthy of India are paying over sticker to get their hands on the Nano because it has become a hot and trendy status symbol, adding "They tend to be very rich people who want the Nano for the snob value because it's new in the market." The Nano model fetching the highest premium on the open market is the XL, which has features like air conditioning and central locking.

While it's too bad that the "people's car" is being picked up mainly by India's elite, at least the lower middle class is reaping the profits from the quirky little vehicle's healthy demand. There will likely be more opportunity to profit from the Nano over the next couple years as well, as the initial allotment of 100,000 units could take until the end of 2010 to get delivered – and there are over 200,000 customers waiting in the queue.



[Source: Drive]


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  • 16 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      "While it's too bad that the "people's car" is being picked up mainly by India's elite, at least the lower middle class is reaping the profits from the quirky little vehicle's healthy demand."


      Ahhh Autoblog; never miss a chance to stir up a little class warfare*.

      (* I am American and I realize that class distinction (re: caste history) is a wholly different affair in India than here or most other countries, but it's still endless statements like this that divide and amplify those divisions. I mean, why is it "too bad" that the "elite" are buying them? The [eventual] supply of Nano's is not a zero sum game.)
        • 5 Years Ago
        As an indian (though not living in India), it is a pity because most of India's elite don't need this car. They're buying it because the Nano is the new "hip" item (yes I know, difficult to believe).

        Sure the car won't ever run out of stock in the long run but India's elite doesn't need this car, far from it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow, over here snobs and douchebags all over the country show off their 328is, but the Tata Nano is a status symbol. It's like saying, "hey look how rich I am, I just got a brand new Aveo!"
      • 5 Years Ago
      I thought upper middle class Indians will opt for at least a Hyundai.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wish we could buy it here in the same spec. Unsafe? Safer than a motorcycle.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This Tata Nano is truly people's car. Thanks to Ratan Tata for giving mobility to common men.

      http://blog.carazoo.com/2009/09/tata-nano-has-high-resale-value.html
      • 5 Years Ago
      Will the Nano be featured in any of the upcoming racing games? I'm guessing it'll do the 'ring in oh...an hour.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Time to plot the resale value of the Tata vs. a Jaguar or Land Rover. How many months before the Nano is worth more?
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is targeted to LOWER-middle class people, NOT upper-middle class people.
      Also, for all of the naysayers talking about this thing being horribly unsafe, I would recommend perusing this car's European (not sure if it's EuroNCAP or some other standard) safety ratings.
      Though I do second the idea about sticking a Hayabusa in this.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Waiting to see someone stick a Hayabusa engine in one of these.

      That'll get the groceries home in a hurry.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If you were a wealthy person in India, why would you want to drive around in a tiny car with no power or airbags and minimal safety equipment? I think they are buying them for their service staff as mentioned above.

      The base model has no HVAC system, which is desperately needed in the Indian climate. Also, if there is no HVAC, how do you defrost the windshield? I guess you just wipe it down with a towel.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So, wealthy Indians are snapping up cars meant for the poor so they can be trendy for a few years? And they say Americans are greedy?
      • 5 Years Ago
      There's something with affluent people and terrible, plebian cars.

      Witness the popularity of the Smart here....

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