Showcased at the 2014 Auto Expo earlier this year, the Tata Nano will be finally launched with a functional tail gate by November this year. Christened as the Nano ‘Twist Active’, the operating boot was added after customers complained of difficult access to the boot from the rear seat of the hatchback. With the inclusion of the operating boot, the Nano will be around 80 kgs heavier than the outgoing model resulting in a marginal drop in fuel economy. The tank capacity however has been increased from 15-litres to 25-litres on the Twist Active variant.
The Tata Nano has barely seen sales in recent months, far from what the company had anticipated. With a huge inventory pileup, Tata Motors was left with no choice but to shut the Sanand plant in Gujarat, where the Nano is manufactured, for 35-40 days due to the low demand. As Tata Motors states, the plant currently is going through a retooling activity to manufacture the new version of the Nano that will see a launch around the festive season this year.
The Sanand plant was operating 2-3 days a week on account of low demand over the last six months. While the plant has a capacity of 2.50 lakh units annually, Tata managed to retail just 21,538 units of the Nano in the last fiscal, which is barely 10 percent of the total production of the plant. Owing to the decline in demand for the Nano, Tata will manufacture more vehicles at the Sanand plant now, starting with the upcoming Kite hatchback that will be rivaling the Maruti Celerio in the segment. This move will help Tata curb losses currently accrued by the Sanand plant and ascertain faster return of investment.
The Tata Nano Twist Active will be the top-end variant and will also get certain styling revisions. The front fascia gets a redesigned bumper with a new grille and integrated fog lamps. The rear fascia has been massively tweaked to incorporate the operating boot. The Twist Active variant will also get the power steering unit that was launched on the Nano Twist model earlier this year. The company has also been working on the automatic variant of the Nano with the F-Tronic gearbox that could see a launch in 2015. Expect to see a marginal price hike on the Twist Active model, compared to the outgoing variant.