When India's Tata introduced the Nano in 2009 at about $2,500, it was a hot seller. It was expected to set the world on fire with demand for cheap wheels. In fact, a year after its rollout, the Nano almost did set the world on fire after at least three units burned to a crisp. Sales plummeted to a record low of 509 in November, 2010.

Tata Chairman Ratan Tata has run the company for 20 years and plans to retire at the end of this year. But before he leaves the company, he hopes to revive sales of the little car he helped develop.

"The Nano is something I would love to make successful because I don't think it's exploited its full potential right now," Tata said in an interview with Bloomberg TV India. "There has to be another push to make Nano what it can be."

Extended warranties for current Nano owners, as well as promises that the fires were only isolated incidents, were the first step at restoring confidence in the Nano. A new version of the Nano came out in November with a larger engine, and July sales totaled 5,485. In all of last year it sold 74,527. By comparison, Suzuki sold 491,389 examples of its competing Maruti brand.

In the video below, Ratan Tata talks a bit about the company's purchase of Jaguar and Land Rover and of his upcoming retirement.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      Tommy Burkart
      • 3 Years Ago
      oh man, this car is so Dead On Arrival. and has been since launching almost three years ago. it is considered an insufferable shitbox by people who aspire to own 25yr-old suzuki carbage
      Andre Neves
      • 3 Years Ago
      I hope they're not expecting to sell them stateside. This thing is basically a poor 4-door copy of the Smart TwoFour that's combustable. And we all know how disappointing sales of the TwoFour have been despite all the hype and high expectation pre-launch over here by MB.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I vacationed in Sri Lanka ; virtually all the Nanos I saw were cheap/budget taxis. Even people of modest means don't want to be seen driving a Nano, they rather just buy a used Japanese car. Then there is the issue of poor performance and very light build, it is almost just a 4 wheel Tuk Tuk.
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's their govt's way of keeping the population numbers down.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Fisker is proof that fires get you lots of press!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yeah, that's not gonna happen.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hot Seller...I get it: Rumor has it that sales are on fire! Fire Sale Prices? Any company that owns a major food label (8 O'Clock Coffee) and a car brand will never succeed longterm...#Mitsubishi
    Share This Photo X