Tata Motors has said recently that the much awaited diesel version of the world’s cheapest car, the Nano, will be launched by end of 2013. Even though speculation for the introduction of the car had started a very long time ago, Tata has just managed to get round to giving us a fairly definitive time frame for its launch. The company is pitting high hopes on the Nano diesel to capture higher sales and to increase its market share in the Indian automotive scenario. With competition growing aggressively in all segments, Tata Motors needs a miracle right now.
Tata Motors suffered a sizable drop in sales in December 2012 by 28 percent, compared to last year, and in 2012, in general, recorded a sales growth of just 0.46 percent. With the petrol Nano and other very capable products like the Aria too showing very slow sales as compared to expectations, Tata Motors needs a product to redeem their position in the Indian market. It is said that the diesel Nano should get very good sales due to a lot of public interest in the small and highly efficient car; but at the same time it will be a tremendous job for the company to maintain the high sales as well as public interest.
Some analysts say that Tata Motors has missed an opportunity because diesel prices are inching towards being de-regulated which would result in many potential customers shying away from the diesel Nano for conventional, possibly cheaper, petrol alternatives from the competition. The company is working very hard to improve their product quality as well as sales and service efficiency to keep customers satisfied and to build their confidence. The Nano too is in its last stages of testing and it will be a very capable and likable product for the customers as well as the dealers, the company claims.
The Nano diesel has been delayed due to several reasons. Suppliers were not ready to invest in the Nano diesel project due to the low success of the petrol Nano. Besides, the company has been working hard to extract 40 kms out of a single litre of diesel, a task which is not as easy as it sounds. The Nano’s diesel engine has been re-engineered close to four times, our sources tell us. Bosch is making a few parts for the diesel engine and the company had to scrape a few prototypes of the engine due to issues with the powertrain.
The Tata Nano diesel was speculated to be launched at an amazing price of Rs. 2.25 lakhs, but it is now expected the vehicle will cost more. In order to meet cost targets and with a diesel engine being new to the segment, it is quite difficult to price the car so low. The Nano will have the world’s smallest diesel engine, a 2-cylinder turbocharged 800cc engine. Only time will tell whether this little car does the magic for the Indian car manufacturer to capture much higher market share.
Source – Live Mint