The Nano will not get any regulatory upgrades, unlike its peers, that are essential to keep it going the mini car will have to be phased out.
Production of the world’s cheapest car Nano has come to a grinding halt, as Tata Motors has begun the process of bringing down the curtains on the troubled car.
As indicated by the company, Nano, unlike its peers, will not get any regulatory upgrades essential to keep it going.
From 83 units in January 2018, the production of Nano hit zero in the same month this year. This is the first time since its launch in 2008 that not a single Nano was either produced or sold in any month.
The Nano was pulled out of export markets such as Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh since the start of the calendar last year.
“As mentioned before, the Nano in its current form will not meet the new safety and emission norms and may need an infusion of fresh investments. No decision has been made yet in this regard. We continue to produce Nano catering to customer demands,” said a statement from Tata Motors.
For the past several months Tata Motors has been producing the Nano as per orders confirmed by its dealers. However, it was getting increasingly difficult to manage the production of the Nano alongside other models such as Tiago and Tigor at the Gujarat plant, which is running at full capacity. The mini car’s old generation build had to be matched with the new generation Tiago on the same production line.
While the company has not agreed to phase out the Nano completely for the time being, it will have to mandatorily bring an end to the car‘s production by March 31, 2019. As none of the variants of the Nano houses an airbag the model will not be allowed to be produced after April 1, 2019, which is when all cars sold in India will need to have at least one airbag.
“Decisions on product life cycle is a holistic view taken after considering the market developments, regulations and emerging competitive landscape. Any such decisions are announced as and when it’s taken. Production planning of a car is conscious management of demand, system inventory and planned efficiencies. Therefore, speculating on the fate of a car based on a month’s production figure is something the company would not like to participate in,” the statement further added.
As per government directives, auto companies will be allowed to sell cars without airbags after March 31, 2019, but will not be allowed to produce them.
Commercially launched in March 2009 (but first unveiled at a glitzy Auto Expo event in 2008) as the ‘Rs 1 lakh car’ the Nano saw several iterations in its decade long career. Ratan Tata’s car gathered iconic status and praise from across the world even from renowned European and Japanese companies that called it an engineering marvel.
However, despite multiple efforts including adding a boot space in the rear, power steering option, CNG fuel option and even a repositioning of the brand, the Nano failed to rise.
Last year, Tata Motors decided 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.The company has already withdrawn models such as Indica, Indigo, Manza and Vista. Sumo and Safari will also be withdrawn subsequently.