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Tata Nano Car: An Overview

Wednesday, August 19, 2009 8:59:05 AM by GD ( 1 comment )

The much talked about car which has undergone a string of
controversies and speculations in India, the Tata Nano car is
actually a rear-engined, four passenger city car built by Tata
Motors, aimed primarily at the Indian market.
The Tata Nano car which is often called as the “people’s car”
was launched on March 23, 2009. The sales of the Tata Nano
car kick-started from July 2009. Priced at a mere Rs.1,15,000
which is equivalent to $2,421, the Tata Nano car has been a hit
amongst the middle class till date, for whom the car was quite
The introduction of the Tata Nano car received attention mainly because of two specific reasons.
The car being priced relatively at a lower rate than other cars drew attention from the
The other reason was the prolonged Singur (West Bengal) agitation, that the company Tata
Motors had to face while setting up a factory in the area. Charges of land acquisition were
drafted against them by the farmers and the company forcefully had to stop putting up the plant
in Singur as a result of chaos and disturbance in the area.
The introduction of the Tata Nano car was entirely planned out and designed by the chairman of
the Tata Motors, Mr. Ratan Tata. Although several speculations regarding the Tato Nano car
being a “four-wheeled auto-rickshaw” with no ample space or whatsoever did rounds in the
media, still the Tata Nano car proved itself of being a properly built car. The Tata Nano car
possesses extensive cost-cutting features that includes a single wind screen wiper instead of a
double one, it has no power steering, the door opener was simplified
After removing its base from Singur, Tata Motors had decided to set up a plant in Gujarat. No
wonder the arrival of the Tata Nano car has stirred up a lot of news for a couple of years, but
yes, the Tata Nano car is launched and is already gathering mixed reviews from the buyers.


Tata Motors Limited is India's largest automobile company, with consolidated revenues of Rs.
92,519 crores (USD 20 billion) in 2009-10. It is the leader in commercial vehicles in each
segment, and among the top three in passenger vehicles with winning products in the compact,
midsize car and utility vehicle segments. The company is the world's fourth largest truck
manufacturer, and the world's second largest bus manufacturer.
The company's 24,000 employees are guided by the vision to be "best in the manner in which we
operate, best in the products we deliver, and best in our value system and ethics."
Established in 1945, Tata Motors' presence indeed cuts across the length and breadth of India.
Over 5.9 million Tata vehicles ply on Indian roads, since the first rolled out in 1954. The
company's manufacturing base in India is spread across Jamshedpur (Jharkhand), Pune
(Maharashtra), Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh), Pantnagar (Uttarakhand) and Dharwad (Karnataka).
Following a strategic alliance with Fiat in 2005, it has set up an industrial joint venture with Fiat
Group Automobiles at Ranjangaon (Maharashtra) to produce both Fiat and Tata cars and Fiat
powertrains. The company is establishing a new plant at Sanand (Gujarat). The company's
dealership, sales, services and spare parts network comprises over 3500 touch points; Tata
Motors also distributes and markets Fiat branded cars in India.
Tata Motors, the first company from India's engineering sector to be listed in the New York
Stock Exchange (September 2004), has also emerged as an international automobile company.
Through subsidiaries and associate companies, Tata Motors has operations in the UK, South
Korea, Thailand and Spain. Among them is Jaguar Land Rover, a business comprising the two
iconic British brands that was acquired in 2008. In 2004, it acquired the Daewoo Commercial
Vehicles Company, South Korea's second largest truck maker. The rechristened Tata Daewoo
Commercial Vehicles Company has launched several new products in the Korean market, while
also exporting these products to several international markets. Today two-thirds of heavy
commercial vehicle exports out of South Korea are from Tata Daewoo. In 2005, Tata Motors
acquired a 21% stake in Hispano Carrocera, a reputed Spanish bus and coach manufacturer, and
subsequently the remaining stake in 2009. Hispano's presence is being expanded in other
markets. In 2006, Tata Motors formed a joint venture with the Brazil-based Marcopolo, a global
leader in body-building for buses and coaches to manufacture fully-built buses and coaches for
India and select international markets. In 2006, Tata Motors entered into joint venture with
Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant Company of Thailand to manufacture and market the
company's pickup vehicles in Thailand. The new plant of Tata Motors (Thailand) has begun
production of the Xenon pickup truck, with the Xenon having been launched in Thailand in
Tata Motors is also expanding its international footprint, established through exports since 1961.
The company's commercial and passenger vehicles are already being marketed in several
countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South East Asia, South Asia and South America. It
has franchisee/joint venture assembly operations in Kenya, Bangladesh, Ukraine, Russia,
Senegal and South Africa.
The foundation of the company's growth over the last 50 years is a deep understanding of
economic stimuli and customer needs, and the ability to translate them into customer-desired
offerings through leading edge R&D. With over 3,000 engineers and scientists, the company's
Engineering Research Centre, established in 1966, has enabled pioneering technologies and
products. The company today has R&D centres in Pune, Jamshedpur, Lucknow, Dharwad in
India, and in South Korea, Spain, and the UK. It was Tata Motors, which developed the first
indigenously developed Light Commercial Vehicle, India's first Sports Utility Vehicle and, in
1998, the Tata Indica, India's first fully indigenous passenger car. Within two years of launch,
Tata Indica became India's largest selling car in its segment. In 2005, Tata Motors created a new
segment by launching the Tata Ace, India's first indigenously developed mini-truck.
In January 2008, Tata Motors unveiled its People's Car, the Tata Nano, which India and the
world have been looking forward to. The Tata Nano has been subsequently launched, as planned,
in India in March 2009. A development, which signifies a first for the global automobile
industry, the Nano brings the comfort and safety of a car within the reach of thousands of
families. The standard version has been priced at Rs.100,000 (excluding VAT and transportation
Designed with a family in mind, it has a roomy passenger compartment with generous leg space
and head room. It can comfortably seat four persons. Its mono-volume design will set a new
benchmark among small cars. Its safety performance exceeds regulatory requirements in India.
Its tailpipe emission performance too exceeds regulatory requirements. In terms of overall
pollutants, it has a lower pollution level than two-wheelers being manufactured in India today.
The lean design strategy has helped minimise weight, which helps maximise performance per
unit of energy consumed and delivers high fuel efficiency. The high fuel efficiency also ensures
that the car has low carbon dioxide emissions, thereby providing the twin benefits of an
affordable transportation solution with a low carbon footprint.
In May 2009, Tata Motors introduced ushered in a new era in the Indian automobile industry, in
keeping with its pioneering tradition, by unveiling its new range of world standard trucks called
Prima. In their power, speed, carrying capacity, operating economy and trims, they will introduce
new benchmarks in India and match the best in the world in performance at a lower life-cycle
Tata Motors is equally focussed on environment-friendly technologies in emissions and
alternative fuels. . It has developed electric and hybrid vehicles both for personal and public
transportation. It has also been implementing several environment-friendly technologies in
manufacturing processes, significantly enhancing resource conservation
Through its subsidiaries, the company is engaged in engineering and automotive solutions,
construction equipment manufacturing, automotive vehicle components manufacturing and
supply chain activities, machine tools and factory automation solutions, high-precision tooling
and plastic and electronic components for automotive and computer applications, and automotive
retailing and service operations.
Tata Motors is committed to improving the quality of life of communities by working on four
thrust areas – employability, education, health and environment. The activities touch the lives of
more than a million citizens. The company's support on education and employability is focused
on youth and women. They range from schools to technical education institutes to actual
facilitation of income generation. In health, our intervention is in both preventive and curative
health care. The goal of environment protection is achieved through tree plantation, conserving
water and creating new water bodies and, last but not the least, by introducing appropriate
technologies in our vehicles and operations for constantly enhancing environment care.
With the foundation of its rich heritage, Tata Motors today is etching a refulgent future.

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Tata Nano
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Starts at Rs. 1,30,110

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Tata Nano Versions

Tata Nano comes in following 3 versions with 1 engine and 1 transmission options. Click on a
Nano version name to know on-road price in your city, specifications and features.
Select upto 4 Tata Nano versions to compare.

Avg Ex-Showroom
Tata Nano Base Rs. 1,30,110
624cc Petrol, Manual, 18.4 kpl On-Road Price
Full Specs | Features
Tata Nano CX
Rs. 1,55,399
624cc Petrol, Manual, 18.4 kpl
On-Road Price
Full Specs | Features
Tata Nano LX
Rs. 1,80,701
624cc Petrol, Manual, 18.4 kpl
On-Road Price
Full Specs | Features
Select upto 4 Tata Nano versions to compare.

Discontinued Tata Nano Versions:

Tata Nano Review

Five to ten years back, if one being asked, “From where will the next big automotive
innovation originate?” The answer could have been Japan, Germany, Italy, US or
some other European nation, no one would have dreamt of India. But as its said
nothing is impossible, Tata's strong will and determination to make the world’s
cheapest car has been achieved and the dream of owning a four wheeler for a
common Indian can now be fulfilled.

Tata Nano Road Tests / First Drives

Tata Nano reviews, road tests and comparisons by CarWale Experts.
• Tata Nano First Drive - Small Wonder
With the unveiling of the much awaited small car from Tata earlier this
evening, the Nano has had more hype and attention from the world media
than any other Indian carmaker in [...]

Tata Nano Colours

Tata Nano is sold in the following colours in India.
• Racing Red
• Summer Blue
• Champagne Gold
• Lunar Silver
• Ivory White
• Sunshine Yellow

Tata Nano in CarWale Forum

All Forum Discussions |More Nano Discussions

Tata Nano in News

Latest Tata Nano news from CarWale.
• Tata Motors opens Tata Nano sales in Maharashtra
Tata Motors announced open sales of the Tata Nano in the state of
Maharashtra. Residents of Maharashtra, who were looking forward to drive
home the cheapest car in [...] - 05 Oct 2010
• Tata Motors Registers a Sale of 65938 units in August
Tata Motors’ total sales of Tata commercial and passenger vehicles in August
2010 were 65,938 vehicles. Tata Motors registered a growth of 32% over
49,810 vehicles [...] - 01 Sep 2010
• Tata Nano Not Yet Readily Available In Showrooms
There was news making the rounds that the Tata Nano would now be readily
available at the showroom. The news has been floating in the market for
some time now and [...] - 17 Jun 2010
• Tata Nano Superdrive
Remember our Gulf Endurance Run? The CarWale Editorial team had driven
the Tata Nano for 7000kms through all the major Indian cities like Mumbai,
Delhi, Kolkata, [...] - 07 Jun 2010
• Nano to Roll Out From Sanand Next Month
Tata Nano, the car that has been making news ever since it made
appearance in the previously held Auto Expo, will finally roll out of the
Sanand factory in Gujarat. [...] - 04 Apr 2010
Tata Nano Specifications

The much awaited Tata small car,

which is giving sleepless nights to its rivals, was finally unveiled at the Auto Expo 2008.
The small car, which is priced at Rs100, 000 (2,500 dollars), has been named Nano.
According to the Tata Motors, the Nano will hit the Indian roads later this year. Ever
since the Tatas announced their intention of developing the 1 lakh car (touted as
people’s car), the auto industry experts have been raising doubts over the price,
features, safety and specifications of Tata Nano. Have a look at specifications and other
aspects of the Tata Nano, the four door mini-hatchback.

Looks & Dimensions of Nano: Keeping in mind the young age group, the Tata Motors
has strived well to give the Nano a contemporary and stylish look. The snub-nosed
small car derives inspiration from Fiat 500 and Nissan Micra. As far as dimensions of
the car are concerned, Nano is 3.1 metres (10.23 feet) long, 1.5 metres wide and 1.6
metres high and can accommodate four to five people.

Engine: The small car sports a two cylinder 623 cc, 33 horsepower rear mounted multi-
point fuel injection (MPFi) petrol engine. Tata claims that the car can touch the top
speed of 105 kms.

Fuel Efficiency: Engineers at Tata Motors have designed an efficient engine that can
run 20 Kms on every litre of petrol.

Pollution: Against the criticism and concerns of the environmentalists, Nano surpasses
Indian regulatory requirements and Euro IV emission norms. In fact, Tata claims that the
small car is less polluting than most of the bikes on Indian roads.

Safety: Tata says that they have tested the small car extensively for front, rear and side
collisions and come out with a product that exceeds current regulatory requirements.
The safety features of the Nano include a strong passenger compartment, intrusion
resistant doors, seat belts, sturdy seats and anchorage.

Price: The base model of the car will sport a price tag of Rs 100,000 (2,500 dollars)
which excludes taxes and transport costs. The high end/deluxe models will include air-
conditioning and other features to be incorporated based on suggestions of the common

 t echnical Specifications in TATA NANO CAR
 Pricing Strategy for Tata Nano car
 Concept and design for TATA Nanocar
 Just 1 lack nano car from TATA

Tata Nano was envisioned as the four wheelers for those who can only afford two
wheelers, due to its affordable price Nano's impact on two wheelers sales has been
widely debated, Nano will also affect sales of higher priced Cars or will motivate
competitors to reduce the prices resulting lowered margins for rest of the industry.

Due to Longevity of the protest by Trinamool Congress, many people in the media
have hinted that rival Corporates have funded and provided logistics for TMC's
protest to Sabotage the Nano project so that its launch can be delayed and costs
can be increased. In a single day of the protest, food bill alone ran into millions of

It has been speculated that money to sustain such a prolonged protest involving
thousands of TMC party workers came from rival Two/Four Wheeler lobby. Rahul
Bajaj, the chairman of Bajaj Auto gave an interview in which he lauded Mamta
Banerjee's effort and stated that what she is doing is for the welfare of poor
farmers., Bajaj auto is also developing a low cost car together with Renault-Nissan
to rival Tata Nano [107] . In a debate show organized by NDTV a leading Business
Magazine's editor in chief hinted that Bajaj Auto is financing Mamta Banerjee. After
the telecast of this debate Rahul Bajaj denied the allegations and threatened to sue
the editor of Businessworld magazine for defamation.

Mamta Banerjee's reaction towards the relocation package by West Bengal

government also gave fuel to these theories. West Bengal government offered land
to the displaced farmer nearby Tata Motors plant, Mamta Banerjee's refused to
accept the package and asked for the land inside the project area to be returned.

The Tata Nano

Ratan Tata rolls the window down and
talks about the vision and conviction, the
innovation and improvisation that went
into creating the people’s car.
What does the Nano — which made
its official debut on March 23, 2009 —
really mean for the chairman of Tata Sons,
in many ways the inspiration behind
the car?
That’s what Christabelle Noronha set
out to discover when she met Mr Tata at
Pune in late 2007 in the lead up to the
unveiling of the Nano.
The Nano is the realisation of a long-cherished ambition.
Do you feel vindicated? Are you apprehensive?
As urbanisation gathers pace, personal transport
has become a big issue, especially since mass transport
is often not available or is of poor quality. Two-wheelers
— with the father driving, the elder child standing
in front and the wife behind holding a baby — is very
much the norm in this country. In that form, twowheelers
are a relatively unsafe mode of transporting a
family. The two-wheeler image is what got me thinking
that we needed to create a safer form of transport.
The Nano was never meant to be a Rs1-lakh car;
that happened by circumstance. I was interviewed by
the [British newspaper] Financial Times at the Geneva
Motor Show and I talked about this future product as
a low-cost car. I was asked how much it would cost
and I said about Rs1 lakh. The next day they had a
headline to the effect that the Tatas are to produce a
Rs100,000 car.
My immediate reaction was to issue a rebuttal, to
clarify that that was not exactly what I had said. Then I
thought, I did say it would be around that figure, so
why don’t we just take that as a target.When I came
back our people were aghast, but we had our goal.

The making of the

24 Tata Review April 2009
This project has proven to everyone that if you
really set yourself to doing something, you actually can
do it.What does it mean to me? It means that we have
in us the capability to undertake a challenge that many
car companies have chosen not to address or have
been unable to address.
What are the innovations that have made the Tata Nano
possible, from design to product finalisation?
Initially I had conceived a car made by engineering
plastics and new materials, and using new technology
like aerospace adhesives instead of welding. However,
plastics didn’t lend themselves to the volumes we
wanted because of the curing time required.
Volumes mean the world in this context.When
we were planning facilities for the car and working out
a business plan, the business plan shown to me was
looking at a figure of 200,000. I said the figure is crazy.
If we can do this, we should be looking at a million
cars a year, and if we cannot do a million then we
shouldn’t be doing this kind of car at all.
Other than emission norms and safety standards, what
are the challenges, physical and psychological, that Tata
Motors had to overcome to make this car happen?
There was the usual dilemma of what is basic and
what is nice to have. A basic car may not have all the
niceties its fancier cousins sport, and when you’re looking
at saving money on every single bit of the car —
even parts that cost as little as Rs20 — you keep facing
these dilemmas. Hundreds of such dilemmas have risen.
However, we were always conscious that there
should be no quality stigma attached to the buying of
this product. One thing we were clear about: this was
never going to be a half-car. Nobody wants a car that
is less than everybody else’s car. Our car may have a
small engine and certain limitations in terms of being
basic, but that does not make it inferior.
When future versions of this car hit the market,will they
not be in direct competition with the Indica?
No. The way I see it, this vehicle will cannibalise
some of the lower-end car market and some of the higher-
end motorcycle and scooter market. It will eat into
both of those markets but it will also create a market of
its own. It will expand the market by creating a niche
that did not previously exist. It may well cannibalise
some of the higher-end car market, but to a small extent,
and probably only when people look to buy a second or
third car.
I’m trying to think of a parallel where someone has
introduced a product at a disruptively low price and
changed the market. A good example would be the Swatch
watch, low-cost, trendy and with a wide range. _
The people’s car
On March 23, 2009, Tata Motors
announced the commercial launch of the
Tata Nano, keenly awaited across India since
its unveiling on January 10, 2008.
Speaking at the launch at the Parsi
Gymkhana in Mumbai, Tata Sons and
Tata Motors Chairman Ratan Tata said:
“The Nano represents the spirit of breaking
conventional barriers. From the drawing
board to its commercial launch, the concept,
development and productionisation of the
car has overcome several challenges. It is
to the credit of the team at Tata Motors that
a car once thought impossible by the world
is now a reality. I hope it will provide safe,
affordable, four-wheel transportation to
families who till now have not been able
to own a car.
“We are delighted in presenting the
Tata Nano to India and the world.”

Nano fact file

_ Engine specification: 2-cylinder aluminium
MPFI 624cc petrol engine mated to a
four-speed gear box
_ Dimensions: 3.1 x 1.5 x 1.6 metres
_ Emission control: CO
emission of
101gm/km, Bharat Stage II and Bharat
Stage III
_ Mileage: 23.6km/litre
_ Weight: 600kg (1,300 pounds)
_ Variants: Tata Nano Standard, Tata Nano
CX and Tata Nano LX
Most people can afford it. People will probably prefer driving this rather than driving
their 2-wheelers. Two-wheelers are quite dangerous especially in India
The cars is small and will fill in small places for parking.

Less space. Ac in select models. Average chassis. Spare parts available only at TATA
dealerships. Less economy as compared to a 2 wheeler. Not a ca for highway. More
people will buy it means more traffic.


A Hard Outer Shell

One big surprise is the Nano has an all-steel body. Many automotive analysts predicted the car’s
outer panels would be colored, injection-molded plastics, to eliminate the cost of a paint job.
Instead, the Nano uses a simple welded-steel platform and steel body panels.
Another rumored cost-cutting measure was that Tata would follow the lead of Lotus Cars and
use an aluminum-extrusion frame held together by industrial-strength adhesives to reduce weight
and cost. But no. The Nano employs normal welding techniques.
Size Matters
At a little more than ten feet long, the Nano is nearly 20 percent smaller than the next smallest
car sold in India, the Maruti 800. However, the Nano also manages to have 20 percent more
interior space than the Maruti. Less weight and fewer parts mean less raw material and lower
The Engine: Smaller Is Cheaper
As simple as that sounds, it couldn’t be truer when it comes to cars. The Nano’s light curb
weight allowed Tata’s engineers to use a much smaller engine while still achieving performance
acceptable to drivers in both congested urban areas and quiet rural markets. The Nano has a rear-
mounted, 623 cc two-cylinder engine. Ultimate power is only 32 horsepower, and the top speed
is said to be around 50 miles per hour.
The Transmission
What happened to the continuously variable automatic transmission? The fact that the Nano has
arrived with a four-speed manual transmission was a minor shock. A CVT is compact, simple,
and makes excellent use of available engine power. Those are important points when producing a
small car with limited horsepower. Our guess is the CVT automatic could appear in the near
future and for a slight premium over the base model.
Plenty of Patents
Much has been made of Tata’s 32 patents pending for the Nano. Yet during a news conference at
the New Delhi Auto Expo, Ratan Tata pointed out none of these is revolutionary or represents
earth-shaking technology. He said most relate to rather mundane items such as the two-cylinder
engine’s balancer shaft, and how the gears were cut in the transmission.
Plants and Partners
There is no escaping the importance of low labor costs in Nano’s $2,500 base price. But Tata
Motors’ new plant in Singur, West Bengal, is far from completion and has not been without
controversy. Many farmers continue to complain they were forced off their land to make way for
the new factory. Barring any further delays, the Singur plant should be churning out Nanos
toward the latter half of 2008 and reach a production capacity of 350,000 units per year.
Ratan Tata does not rule out the use of satellite plants around the world - most likely in Africa,
the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Tata Motors has also ensured that parts vendors are located
close to the Singur plant. The Hindustan Times reports tough competition forced the parts
suppliers to keep their prices down, and this has helped keep the Nano’s price to the promised
“1-lakh” ($2,500) level.