Tata Motors plans composite cars to complement the ultra low cost Nano

Posted on: Feb 25, 2013 - 5:33pm IST

Tata Vista D90 dialsIn a shocking revelation by TheEconomicTimes, we come to understand that Tata Motors is planning a slew of composite cars to complement the Nano. Essentially, Tata Motors will adopt the  strategy of Maruti Suzuki of targeting the same segment with multiple offerings.

What are composite cars?

Cars that are not made from traditional materials such as  aluminium or steel, but from composite materials like carbon fibre or plastic are called composite cars.

Technically, a Pagani Huayra is a composite car because it is made from carbon fibre. Even a Chevrolet Corvette is a composite car because it is made from fibre glass.

As Tata Motors is targeting a price sensitive segment, their composite cars will be made from a material called poly-diallyl-phthalate (PDP) which is cheaper to build and mould.

Making cars from composite materials has its own advantages such as –

  • Cheaper to build and repair
  • Lesser number of body parts
  • Lightweight construction makes composite cars very fuel efficient
  • Reduced NVH

Tata Motors has already built a prototype of this composite car using the expertise of Marcello Gandini who has worked for Lamborghini. Despite being built using PDP (essentially a type of a plastic), the prototype has successfully undergone crash testing at Tata Motors’ Pune facility.

There is no time frame decided to launch these utra low cost composite cars. But we have feeling that it will not be before 2014. There is a very good chance Tata Motors is shielding itself from upcoming onslaught of low cost cars from Nissan’s Datsun and Volkswagen’s Tantus.

Come 2014, we will see many low cost cars arriving on the scene. Global giants such as Volkswagen, Nissan and Fiat have understood the importance of the pyramid base. These giants have the relevant experience and expertise to create a revolution in the entry car market. Thus, it is very vital for Tata Motors to gain an early mover advantage in this soon-to-be fiercely competitive segment.

[Source: Economictimes.indiatimes.com]

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7 thoughts on “Tata Motors plans composite cars to complement the ultra low cost Nano

  1. prashant says:

    Give it a fresh face(completely new).It will sell only if it has class leading looks, fuel efficiency, engine quality & space. General buyers don’t have to do anything with the material of the cars. They concern only about looks, fuel efficiency, engine quality & space. So TATAs please make sure the PDP is molded in a fresh shape not in the shape of any Nano or Indica.
    Its great that finally TATAs are trying to provide multi-offerings in each segment. But please make sure all of them are new faces. People have got bored of the similar faces from your stable.

    Reply
  2. vishal says:

    If its well designed and has a good paint job – no reason why it shouldn’t sell. If it doesn’t look or feel like a regular car – then the material debate is…immaterial.

    Reply
  3. Harish says:

    Isn’t the Huayra made of Carbo-tanium? 😉

    Reply
  4. sandy says:

    “Essentially, Tata Motors will adopt the strategy of Maruti Suzuki of targeting the same segment with multiple offerings.”
    I thought Tata will launch multiple cars based on Nano chassis to target different kind of buyers, like MS which was having old Wagon-R, Estilo, Alto, AltoK10 based on Alto chassis.
    But car based on composite is a welcome move. We have already seen this in case of Brio’s rear, XUV5OO’s front fender etc. but quality and safety need to be proven.

    Reply
  5. Ramesh says:

    A good move from the technology point of view. But how will Indian buyers take it? People (read competitors) will spread the word that it is a ‘plastic’ car and therefore very fragile. Indians still believe in solid steel-thicker the better. Hopefully the market perception will change.

    Reply
    1. vinod says:

      i doubt we believe in solid steel, else tata cars would have sold more than maruti or hyundai which are light weight.

      On a lighter note: Try to dent a tata indica & try the trick with an alto/wagon R/eon

      Reply

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Kaustubh
Kaustubh Shinde

They say sooner or later your passion finds you. Sometime in late 2009, I started writing for IAB and ever since then it has been a roller coaster ride for me. An amazing experience that has taught me a lot, taken me to new places, driven some great cars and met some amazing people. When you don't find me on IAB (very rarely), you will find me either at a coffee shop or an eatery or at the nearest gadget store.Hope you enjoy IAB as much as we do!