Tata Group is one of the biggest Indian multinational conglomerate company that deals in almost everything one can even imagine of. From automobiles to software, from telecoms to cell phones, Tata has left its mark in almost every sector possible. However, Tata created a buzz after it announced that it will be helping the low-income groups by providing them with a car of their dreams or a ‘Lakhtakiya’ car as they preferred to call it. The announcement that was made between 1990’s to 2000 had not only helped the company with their shares but also Tata had found finally found a point where it could connect with the people.
It was the time that Tata had everything set on their platter. Consumers with a need for a pocket-friendly car, perfect automobile market to enter (as there were extremely less competitors) and above all, years of credibility which they had garnered for their work. But, the future that Tata had perceived was nothing near the actuality that it had to face. After a gap of around 10 years, the seeds which Tata had sown finally started to reap. But the fruits were as delicious as Tata had expected.
In 2008, Tata’s Nano was finally rolled out to Indian roads. The only challenge with the company was the cost of the car, which they had claimed to be of Rs 1 lakh only. The challenge faced by the company was also very much evident in the final product. For many, Nano was just a tiny box with 4-wheels or just a 4-wheeler scooter and also giants ‘hot-wheels’. After struggling for years, the company presented their final product and the only thing that was touching the skies for the company was only criticism.
Apart from struggling with looks and the competitors, the biggest problem for the company came in after a few months. Already working with a limited budget, the basic model of Nano had nothing apart from 4 seats and a steering — no air conditioner, power windows or power steering. Apart from this the company also compromised with the safety features of the car. Tata’s nightmare turned into a reality after the reports of Tata Nano bursting into flames went viral. And why wouldn’t they, as Tata had been encashing much on the publicity it got with their Lakhtakiya car.
With just a few years of being launched in the Indian automobile market, Tata’s Nano popularity was washed-off after the reports of Nano bursting into flames kept coming one after the other. Following the degrading popularity and credibility the sales of Nano, which were once touching the sky, went down the flush. Experts also blamed the faulty design of the car, stating that it takes around 5-10 minutes for the owner just to reach to the engine of the car that is placed in the back.
As the criticism grew, the Tata shares also started to go down the lane, forcing the makers to correct their mistake. After some time, Tata tried to correct the faults and re-launched the Nano with many changes like power steering and much more. In order to make Nano’s facelift a push, the company also changed its target audience from a small family to a younger generation and this was the time when Tata realised its first mistake. However, it failed to pay heed towards the other most things which was holding Nano back — it’s looks — which it still struggles with.
After forcing it to run in the market for around 8-9 years, by incurring a massive number of loses, Tata automobiles recently announced the discontinuation of their car, which was once considered to be its USP. After fulfilling the dreams of many families by providing them with a chance to commute together, in 2017, Tata announced that the production of Nano will soon stop.
Many perceived it as sad news, as Tata’s Nano was not only the cheapest car for the people but also the start of Make in India project started by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Maybe the project by Tata could be dying, but the foundation of the company will surely keep its name up. Tata is and always will be, the one to kick-start an ambitious project aimed at fulfilling the dreams of many, and to an extent they delivered it.
Well, with Nano all set to bid goodbye to the Indian market, many expect that Tata will be coming back with a BANG by overcoming all their limitations faced during the Nano’s drive.