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Tata Nano – “Right on Target”
During the first inauguration of Tata’s Nano Car, Ratan Tata famously spoke these words “I observed families riding two- wheelers- the father driving the scooter, his young kid standing in front of him, his wife seated behind him holding a little baby. It led me to wonder whether one could conceive of a safe, affordable, all-weather form of transport for such a family.”1 Hence, started the conceptualization of a car targeted at the low income segment of India who could not afford a car. It is a typical example of identifying a need, developing and marketing the product to the targeted segment and enjoying the success of a well crafted marketing effort.
It is no surprise then, that the little car also dubbed as the “people’s car” attracted much fanfare from the media across the world. The demand for the car could not be met initially, as the Sanand plant wasn’t working full capacity. The cars had to be booked in advance. After a rocky start at its West Bengal Singur plant, the production of Nano was shifted to Sanand, Gujarat. This delayed the launch and also put a tab on the production capacity.2
The car comes in standard, CX and LX versions. The price of the standard version falls in the Rs 1 lac bracket (excluding VAT and transportation cost). The car was conceptualized to cater to a segment who earlier could not afford a car due to its high price. Nano is in every sense a revolution in innovation aimed at serving the lower class market.3
Tata motors being the countries largest automobile company (commercial and passenger vehicles combined), has been a pioneer in the automobile industry in more ways than one. It being the first company in the engineering sector listed at the New York Stock Exchange. Tata Indica was the country’s first indigenous passenger car built in 1998.4
What is even more encouraging is that the car adheres to and in some cases exceeds the quality specifications of the Indian automobile industry. The car has ample ground clearance; space for it’s built and can seat 4 adults. The car has been designed keeping the target segment of a family of four, earlier using a two-wheeler in mind.
Tata Motors was awarded the 2010 Edison and Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation award for their extraordinary achievement.5
1.    “The Debut at Last” Business World. 31 Mar. 2009. Businessworld Issue Dated 31 March-06 April 2009. 23 Aug. 2010 < >
2.    Rina Chandra, Sujoy Dhat  “West Bengal protests lead Tata to halt all work on Nano car factory” nytimes 2 Sep. 2008. 23 Aug. 2010           < >
3.    “The Tata Nano Arrives” tatamotors 23 Mar. 2009. 20 Aug. 2010
4.    “Profile” tatamotors 20 Aug. 2010 <>
5.    “Tata Nano Car” articlesbase  10 Jun. 2010. 23 Aug. 2010.
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Written by: Marya Wani
Asst. Professor, Marketing