TATA Nano’s Branding Problem
The second problem was branding. Tata Motors completely misread the market. Cars were meant to be aspirational products, not just utilitarian. In a country like India, where status signifiers are ubiquitous, buying the “cheapest car” was a dead giveaway that you couldn’t do better. Calling it as such made it seem like it had the bare minimum of features and was less safe to drive than higher-priced hatchbacks.
The “1 lakh car” thus became perceived as the “poor man’s car”.There was definitely a strong level of demand for it, but only a fraction of the people who needed such a cost-effective car were ready to purchase it. The car was relaunched as the ₹199,000 “GenX Nano” in 2015, equipped with automatic transmission and Bluetooth connectivity, but the damage was already done by then.
The Nano may have an end soon.