The Tata Nano was heralded as the World's Cheapest Car when it chugged onto the automotive scene in 2009. Meant to be India's Volkswagen Beetle, BMC Mini or Ford Model T, the Nano, while accounting for 25-percent of Tata Motors' sales volume in fiscal year 2012, still saw its sales drop 27 percent over the same period.

In a bid to jump-start demand, Reuters reports that Tata has announced a diesel variant will join the two-cylinder, 624-cc gas engine in March of 2014. It's not clear where the diesel powerplant will come from, or just how small it'll really be. This isn't the first feature Tata has tried adding to the Nano to boost sales, which currently starts at around $2,200.

Adding content, while normally a solid idea, is more difficult these days due to India's troubled auto industry. The Indian economy is declining overall, with interest rates and fuel prices continuing to climb. Reuters notes that a weak rupee is raising costs as well, causing Tata to rely ever more heavily on overseas sales from its premium brands, Jaguar and Land Rover. Still, diesel is quite a popular fuel in India thanks to government subsidies.

What do you think, does diesel power make the ultra-affordable, ultra-small Nano more palatable? Let us know in Comments.


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  • 36 Comments
      Tweaker
      • 1 Year Ago
      Oh yea, an Indian diesel is sure to be "green".
      hemijohn
      • 1 Year Ago
      Thank you, come again!
      knightrider_6
      • 1 Year Ago
      It will be interesting to see how much this costs.
      Cruising
      • 1 Year Ago
      I thought TATA had something with the Pixel concept, they should build that.
      Teleny411
      • 1 Year Ago
      They should have made it boxy instead of bug like. Fiat 131 comes to mind.
      omgcool
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tata Nano is beautiful! Like a caterpillar waiting to pounce!
      redgpgtp97
      • 1 Year Ago
      Do they still make these?
      FIDTRO
      • 1 Year Ago
      Looks like Hyundai has some competition.
      Ducman69
      • 1 Year Ago
      They should really rename this car to qualify its strengths to parents buying one for their child as a first car, such as advocating involuntary abstinence or encouraging them to go to school or get a job so they won't have to drive one of these... my suggestions: Tata Chastity Tata Virginizer Tata ForeverAlone Tata GotoCollege Tata Frumpster Tata SlumDog Millionaire
      rmt_1
      • 1 Year Ago
      As the story states, the Tata Nano was supposed to be India's VW Beetle or Ford Model T, but I think the Nano turned out to be India's Yugo. For a car that was meant to give the car buyer in India a better option than buying used with its cheap price tag, the Nano never really delivered on that promise and adding a diesel engine will not help enough to change that perception. While the conceptual idea for the Nano being India's first car designed for the average Indian was extremely ambitious, Tata just didn't do enough product development, engineering, and design work on the car that would have made it compelling to buy beyond those with initial curiosity. From basing the car around a wheel/tire combination that is too small for the rough, unpaved roads common to rural India, to the poor interior packaging caused by a lack of access to the rear area of the car for cargo, to the lack of flexibility in the design to upgrade the platform easily for changes that may be required by new regulations or export requirements. Gas or diesel, the Tata Nano is a missed opportunity for greatness, but the optimist in me hopes that Tata learns from their mistakes and will correct itself with an all-new second generation Nano.
        eeenok
        • 1 Year Ago
        @rmt_1
        i agree with all this, but i'm also inclined to think they didn't get the marketing right either ... there's a need for a rock bottom budget car in india, but there seems to be resistance from people who see themselves aspiring to a better car even though they can't afford it. maybe tata needed to use bigger wheels not just for the poor road surfaces but also as perhaps the best buffer against owners feeling humiliated in what is an incredibly status-conscious (thanks, cast system!) culture. and maybe they needed to sell it as something you might frivolously buy for a college-age child (suddenly it becomes the new i-phone instead of the new yugo) and wait for the cool factor to creep up the age brackets. maybe the nano is a bad size and shape for a company whose name is a synonym for potato. the diesel sounds like a nice addition while not really fixing the problem
          Dr Jai singh
          • 1 Year Ago
          @eeenok
          Nice to see someone not Indian talk something absolutely correct about India......
      friscobrah
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sweet so instead of raping women on buses now Indians can have their own personal rape cars.
        thequebecerinfrance
        • 1 Year Ago
        @friscobrah
        There is a reason rednecks should use condoms, you are the perfect example.
        Cruising
        • 1 Year Ago
        @friscobrah
        Laugh it up, there will be a Indian in the White House before that happens. What a ignorant response. No wonder so many educated South Asians come here and their children are highly successful in engineering, medicine, now making influences in politics and media.
          Cruising
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Cruising
          Even the great MLK was inspired by the teachings of a Indian and look how he transformed this nation for the benefit of us all.
          Tweaker
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Cruising
          If Indians were so bloody successful, India would not be the sh*thole it continues to be.
      • 1 Year Ago
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