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.

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