It may be cheap, but that doesn’t mean it’s accessible. Sales of the Tata Nano have reportedly plummeted 85 percent in November to a scant 509 cars, and the concern is mainly focused on the money — consumer’s mooney.
Tata CEO Carl-Peter Forster identifies a dry loan market as a primary reason for the sales drop as auto financing has shut its doors to low-income customers — precisely the income class the Nano is aimed. The Nano is priced from 123,360 to 172,360 Indian rupees in New Delhi, India, which is around $2700 to $3800 according to current currency exchange rates. Nano pricing increased as much as 4 percent back in July.
The Nano has managed over 70,000 sold since it entered the market in July 2009. The 0.6-liter two-cylinder-equipped Nano is assembled in the western Indian state of Gujarat, where the plant is capable of churning out 250,000 models per year at full capacity. The Nano has declined but overall sales in India had managed to hit new levels, a reassuring sign in the still-distressed world economy.
In addition to financing woes, the high-profile fire concerns has been cited as a worry as well, though Tata has been retrofitting and fitting Nanos with extra protection for the electrical and exhaust systems. Tata remains adamant the Nanos that did catch fire were isolated incidents.