The gradual withdrawal of the car from the export markets, which was envisioned to become a significant basket of Nano’s output, could be one of the early signs of a total phase out of the troubled car
Exports of Tata Nano have stopped since the start of the year following withdrawal of the struggling mini car by dealers in these markets.
The gradual withdrawal of the car from the export markets, which was originally envisioned to become a significant basket of Nano’s output, could be one of the early signs of a total phase out of the troubled car.
According to data supplied by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), Nano exports slumped 75 percent in the April-December period to 1708 units as compared to 6714 units a year earlier. There have been no overseas shipments of the car since January this year.
Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are some of the countries where the Nano was launched by Tata Motors tapping its local distributors in these countries. While Nepal has seen the withdrawal, the car may still be available in Sri Lanka and
Fit for future
During the recently concluded March quarter, Tata Motors decided that it will take forward only those projects under the ‘Fit for Future’ programme which are commercially viable. The company is ready to bring down the axe on a number of ageing models that have become a drag on its financials.
Tata Motors has already withdrawn models such as Indica, Indigo, Manza and Vista from the domestic market. While the company has refused to provide details about the future of the Nano, sources say that the management is reluctant to upgrade the car to the Bharat Stage VI standards as well as meet the crash test norms.
"The hatchback segment is very important for us and the regulations and customer preferences are going to play a major role in defining various sub-segments within this segment. We already have a well-defined PV strategy in place that will look at not only the best way of addressing the segments’ requirements but also an overall perspective of the portfolio. We continue to produce Nano catering to customer demand in key markets," said a Tata Motors spokesperson.
Many of Tata Motors’ dealers in India have not placed an order for the Nano since the last several months. Last year sales of the mini car dropped to 1,851, a fall of 76 percent compared to 7,591 units clocked in 2016-17, as per SIAM data. March recorded the lowest monthly Nano sales ever at just 29 units since its debut 10 years ago.
This is a far cry from the ambitions laid down by the company which had the US and European market in sight for the car. The Nano was believed to be headed to developing and price sensitive markets of Africa and Latin American to international expansion.
Tata Motors was also said to be in talks with governments of Thailand and Indonesia to assemble the car there to serve the South east Asian market including The Philippines.From October 2019 onwards, existing cars will have to undergo mandatory crash tests. Prior to that, all cars produced after April 2019 will have to be equipped with airbags.