That the sales performance of Nano has failed to put a smile on the face of its manufacturers is a known fact. While Tata hasn’t yet given up on the “world’s cheapest car”, it remains to be seen if the Nano would be able to have a better future.
It has today emerged that the automaker is now planning to come up with a new car that would be built alongside the small car at its Sanand plant. Tata says that the latest plan has been devised in order to use the optimum production capacity of the Gujarat-based plant.
The upcoming car from Tata will be a hatchback and is already under development. The new compact car is expected to be launched in 2015. The new compact car has been christened as the ‘XO’ and will be underpinned by the Indica platform. “There is a thought process on producing the ‘X0’ in Sanand. With capacity utilisation at less than 20% at present, the company is taking a major hit on its cost per car from Sanand. The idea is to improve capacity utilisation and gain from the tax incentives too,” said a Tata Motors official, on request of anonymity.
It may be noted that Tata plans to launch the Nano diesel next year and while the speculated low-running costs and low price tag might bring in a few prospective customers to Tata Motors dealerships, it is anybody’s guess if the Nano would be able to shed its ‘poor man’s car’ image and have a better showing on the sales charts. Tata sold less than 1000 units of Nano in April, which is the second lowest number of Nanos Tata has ever sold.
With the XO, which has been in news since some time now, Tata intends to take the fight straight to the high selling Maruti WagonR and the likes. The XO will borrow quite a few components from the Indica hatchback but might come up with a new set of diesel and petrol engines that would be high on both fuel efficiency and performance.