• Dec 2, 2010
2011 Tata Nano CX - Click above for high-res image gallery

The Tata Nano was such a hot commodity when it entered the Indian market that Tata Motors felt compelled to hold a lottery to determine the first 100,000 customers. A reported 70,000 copies of the $2,500+ econobox have been sold to date, but November apparently didn't budge that number much.

Bloomberg reports that only 589 Nano models were sold in November; a minuscule total for a mass-market car. Tata CEO Carl-Peter Forster reportedly blames a lack of financing options as the reason customers aren't buying. Forster claims that the Nano is popular with customers who currently use a bike or motorcycle for transportation, and the feeling is that banks fear that extending a loan to a lower income buyer could bring increased risk of default.

But while bank loans are one problem, another issue could stem from the fact that the Nano has been in the news for catching fire. That's definitely not a desirable feature, and we're thinking that customers who plunk down their life savings for their first vehicle don't want their low-cost car to turn into a pricey car-b-que. The 'no loans' theory sounds even less likely after hearing that overall Tata sales in November were 54,622, up one percent year-over-year. And the icing on the cake? Tata has also raised the price of the Nano twice over the past few months; $198 in October and four percent back in July. That's about $300 more than the car sold for at launch.



Photos copyright ©2010 Rex Roy / AOL

[Source: Bloomberg]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 27 Comments
      CheckTheseOut
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, with such a sharp design, it's a wonder??
        • 4 Years Ago
        @CheckTheseOut
        @nate

        Better than that, 12's!
        • 4 Years Ago
        @CheckTheseOut
        Haha... yea, apparently a passenger side view mirror is a luxury indulgence that can be done without.

        And, nice rims. Are those nines? I think I had those same wheels on my wagon when I was a kid.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Problem is the car will be cross-shopped against the superior (more room, better materials, etc. etc.) Prius (and later on Plug In Prius), which is $19K cheaper."

      The Prius is superior??? Hahaha!! The ONLY thing the Prius has going for it is MPG. Nothing else. Anybody that has any sense of driving dynamics won't touch a Prius with a 10 ft pole.
        • 4 Years Ago
        And since the Volt is not as good as the Prius "Anybody that has any sense of driving dynamics won't touch a Volt with a 20 ft pole."
      • 4 Years Ago
      GM should pay attention to this as this is what the future (after the hoopla dies down the $7500 tax credit goes away) holds for the Volt.....
        • 4 Years Ago
        Except not. Take the trolling outside.

        The Nano is the Pinto for the new millenium.
        • 4 Years Ago
        But those aren't mass market plug-in gas-electrics...so people who are in the market for that type of vehicle aren't really cross-shopping them. The Volt will start out relatively niche with it's comparably higher price and drop from there with refined production methods (like every new tech). That'll bring it out of the niche into the more mainstream. GM has marketed this better than any product I've seen in awhile...even the girls at my office know about it (which is shocking because they usually don't have a clue about something unless it's on a reality show). It'll do fine.

        Using your (poorly-formed) opinion as a basis for financial chatter isn't the best recourse.

        This thing, on the other hand...they should be paying you. And furnishing a fireproof suit.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Problem is the car will be cross-shopped against the superior (more room, better materials, etc. etc.) Prius (and later on Plug In Prius), which is $19K cheaper.

        BTW everyone I have talked to about the Volt (because many people have seen commercials) laughs when I tell them the car is $41K. The #1 thing they say is: "I could buy 2 Prius for that much!" or "Why does this thing cost twice as much as the Prius?"
        • 4 Years Ago
        I for one am hoping for the expiration of the 7500 give away.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Lets see, it's a competitor to cars like the Focus, Cobalt, Elantra, etc. etc. and it's priced at $41K..... I was being nice by saying it's over-priced by $17K.

        • 4 Years Ago
        The Nano is at least worth what they ask for it. The Volt is over-priced by at least $17K.

        So please take YOUR trolling elsewhere.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Lets see, it's a competitor to cars like the Focus, Cobalt, Elantra, etc. etc. and it's priced at $41K..... I was being nice by saying it's over-priced by $17K."

        That's like saying that a BMW is overpriced becase it is the same size as a Corolla. With the Volt you are paying a premium for the novel powertrain. Even without the subsidy, I bet GM will be able to sell every single Volt they make at $41K at 10-20K production volumes. Sure, they won't be able to sell 200K Volts in a year, but how many $41K cars do that anyway?

        • 4 Years Ago
        I disagree. Currently, the people who would buy this know what they're getting into. They aren't cross shopping them because they understand the technical differences. Later on...yea, I can see that as more of an issue, but later on also means a lower price so...

        By the way, we have no confirmation on the price of a plug-in Prius, or its capabilities since its still in testing, so comparing the price of a Volt to the price of a standard Prius is a pretty disingenuous argument. Apples to oranges.

        And yes, the people you're talking to would say that, which is fine. They're the ones who saw the ads but weren't really in the market for it so they aren't doing the leg work to understand the difference. As I mentioned earlier, people paying $41k understand the difference. Your "common folk" will keep buying Priuses till the price comes down on the Volt, at which point they'll start absorbing the difference. There was a time when most people didn't know what a Prius was either.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Black&Blue, thanks for posting, as has been said many times before an attack from you is the best compliment anyone can get around these parts:)

        And the Volt's technology is the same as that of the superior Prius with A) a crappier gas engine B) larger batteries (anyone can do that) and C) the ability to be plugged in (small engineering firms have done this to the Prius as it's not all that difficult) which is coming with the Plug In Prius (which Toyota already said would not cost much more than the standard Prius).

        0kijam0, I hardly ever post on any GM thread other than Volt threads, but nice try, you and Black&Blue must be sisters:)
        • 4 Years Ago
        Also, I should add...better materials in the Prius? Have you sat in the new Prius? The interior of that thing is a travesty. The dashboard is one giant, gray slab of hard, dull plastic with a weirdo blue joystick.

        I managed to sit in the Prius, Volt, and LEAF at the SF Auto Show last week and the Prius was by far the worst of the bunch. The previous gen Prius was much nicer.

        You clearly haven't touched any of these cars.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The problem with economy/volume segment vehicles is that you have sell too many of them to make money. These kinds of vehicles should go into mobility or sharing type solutions where the money is made on the higher utilization of the vehicle by many people rather than on pushing so many into the market...
      • 4 Years Ago
      What happend to all the people showing up at the dealers with stacks of money. Did they already get their cars?
      • 4 Years Ago
      $300 is a lot of money for some people.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Its mainly because Indians middle class is becoming more affluent and are moving up from micro/sub/ compact cars to mid sized cars.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Can you post this on Facebook so I can "Like" it?

      :-)
      • 4 Years Ago
      A Nano with heated seats! That's a class-leading standard option! I'll take 2!
      • 4 Years Ago
      not to mention its butt ugly
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Tata CEO Carl-Peter Forster reportedly blames a lack of financing options as the reason customers aren't buying."

      It may also be because of this: http://www.downhub.com/toyota-etios-price-hatchback-and-sedan-in-india-and-review/
      • 4 Years Ago
      So as it turns out, people dont want a t-sandwich for a car. Shocking!

      Amazingly, consumers are choosing other options (namely no car) to avoid this penalty box. A car has to be REALLY horrible to prefer going 4 deep on a motorbike!
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