Report – Relocation from Singur to Sanand killed buzz around Nano, says Ratan Tata

Posted on: Aug 7, 2014 - 6:03pm IST

It has been six years since a little village in West Bengal erupted in fury, changing the fortunes of the Tata Nano forever, at least according to the project’s vanguard Ratan Tata.

The Tata Group’s Chairman-Emeritus says that the relocation of the Nano project from Singur to Sanand is what killed the buzz behind the Nano.

Tata Nano Twist Review front
Ratan Tata has blamed the need to shift the Tata Nano project from Singur to Sanand as the reason for killing the buzz around the car.

Billed then as the world’s cheapest car at under $2,500, Tata says that at the time the project was announced, close to 300,000 bookings were received and order books were full for 2 years. The relocation to Singur, however, killed the excitement and let people think that the car would never come. It also, he says, gave the competitors enough time to badmouth the product.

However, Ratan Tata accepts that in hindsight, working in a hostile environment like Singur would not have worked well and that moving the project was the better thing to do. The loss of excitement, however, had affected the longer-term prospects of the car, he says.

While the Tata Nano was being rolled out in 2008, its manufacturing facility in Singur was nearing 80 percent completion. However, thanks to a political upheaval, the project had to be relocated to Sanand, delaying its full-fledged launch to 2010.

[Source – The Business Standard]

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10 thoughts on “Report – Relocation from Singur to Sanand killed buzz around Nano, says Ratan Tata

  1. Shashikant Tewary says:

    I own a Dec 2012 Nano. Till date it has done 30,000 km flawlessly. I have driven it on NH5, state highways, village roads, ghats, jungles and moon-crater tarmacs. It still feels solidly build. Mileage is excellent, maintenance is low, the space inside delights you, brilliant headlights for night driving. It’s real wheel drive configuration is of great help while driving in the interiors.

    Like any other car, it has some shortcomings but nothing stops me from recommending it to everyone who wants to buy his or her first car.

    Love Nano!

    Reply
  2. Charak Patnaik says:

    Nano is a fabulous product. Yes, the initial batch had issue, minor ones though. It was well taken care by Tata Motors under warranty. The current generation is leaps and bounds ahead of Alto (apart from the engine). Not that the engine isn’t bad. It is peppy and more than effcient for city use. Current Vista,Manza, Strome, new Gen Indica and Indigo are high on reliability, so is the Nano too.

    Reply
  3. jeba singh says:

    any one who want to comment bad about nano let them drive the new nano for a day. I am 100 percent sure they will praise the nano for what it offers in sub 3 lac category with no competition. I own a silver 2012 model only petrol car with service interval of 10000kms, average mileage of 20 – 22kmpl on real driving condition with ac, 4 years genuine warranty, excellent ac, engineers excellence engine, peace of mind and safety for your loved once (family) from sun, rain, road. I thank tata for their interest in safety of human life. I am proud that its 100 percent indian company which makes india proud in this world.

    Reply
  4. sagar says:

    Well said Ayyappan. People do forget that prime motto of nano was to cater to a segment in which people move their families on a two wheelers. You might have seen people travelling on a motorcycle along with their small babies. It is this segment for which nano was made for. But we Indians never understood this and keep on comparing nano with alto and keep on blaming it for not having features such as power steering, disk brakes, abs, airbags blah blah blah. Tell me what is more safer- travelling on a bike with your wife and small babies or travelling in a car which may not have power stearing, abs and airbags. The definite answer is to travel in a car which may not have all safety assets but it is 10 times safer than a two wheeler. Nano was made for the common man in India and not for the one who love to drive a Mercedese. So its my humble request to all the people who prefer and drive alto and above class not to blame nano for the things it was never meant for. Its the bad mouth publicity done by people who was and are not a prospective nano buyer and who do not belong to the segment for which nano was meant for resulted in failure of such a wonderful product. I am proud of nano and every Indian should be proud of it as well.

    Reply
  5. Charak Patnaik says:

    Mr. Ayyappan you are quite right. Most of the people who bash TATA products haven’t owned one. They bad mouth it without having 1st hand experience with TML cars. I own a 2001, Indica DLS V2. It has done 1, 54,000 kms and continues to serve me well. It offers me what you expect from a 3.65lac car (2001 make) and more. Great on space, comfort, superb AC, terrific mileage, low-maintenance, spare parts costs are quite low and easily available too. What else do I want. There were no major mechnical overhauls or electrical failure. For me it was the regular maintenance stuff. That the reason why I dont want to sell it. I have a 2012 Honda City which is a league of its own, but still I have a special place for Indica. Had it made me suffer, I wouldn’t have it around me.

    What people tend to forget is this 20kmpl-22kmpl trend was started by Indica. No other car at that time even thought of offering those efficiency figures. I am talking of 2001, now its 2014 – and still many manufacturers are making serious efforts to reach that magic mileage figures. TATA Indica achieved this much ahead of its time. My 13 year old car still offers me 17-19kmpl (with AC) and goes upto 22kmpl on highways consistently.

    Reply
  6. Amit says:

    Was devastated to know that the Nano project would have to be relocated from industry-dry West Bengal.The whole logistics of relocating the factory to Sanand did affect the financial viability of the project, but the statement by Mr. Tata that the relocation killed the excitement by the car, seems a bit too far fetched. The car failed because of faulty pricing, wrong positioning (Tata now seems to have got it right, but its too late) and questionable reliability . Tata would have done better had the product been tested more in our driving conditions.

    Reply
  7. potha says:

    Those two year cost tata only because in that crucial times people had more income with the pay commission increasing pay significantly, and in counter to that software field had to do the same people started to aspire more and this coincided with that singur baffle so yes that is absolutely true, do remember those were the days of maruti 800 and old alto, those two years is all it took to change india for ever and an unfortunate timing for such a noble car

    Reply
  8. Joy says:

    When Nano was released, there was lot of buzz around it. It lost the battle because it was an inferior product. 2 cylinder engine sounding like an auto, hard steering, plastic body everything contributed to it. For every feature they added, the pricing came close to Alto which is a household name. Also, flames coming out of Nano dented it very much. Who wants to risk their life for 50k or 1L price difference? Still it needs a set of disc brakes and some more basic features along with EPS. When these features are added, how Tata will price it remains the question.

    Reply
    1. Ayyappan says:

      Mr.Joy !

      Neither I own a Tata vehicle not I’m not attached to Tata’s in any way ; but these are my observations –

      First of all, we need to appreciate the fact that a young auto company from India taught the developed world with 100 years of automobile experience, that we could make a car at 2500 $. If you’ve travelled outside India, you’d realize the kind of respect they’ve for the Nano & Tata. So hats off to Ratan Tata for conceiving a real revolutionary product and turning auto manufacturing practices on its head to arrive at that price point.

      When the car was announced at 1 lac, the intention was to create something better than a 2 wheeler at about 35% more cost so that the 2 wheeler family could travel in relative safety
      . The product was conceived out of social considerations, after watching scores of big Indian families of 4/5 members travelling on bikes with their babies too.

      Ratan Tata had clearly stated they wouldn’t be profitable for a loooong time even if they sell 5 lac cars a year. I’m yet to see a company in India with such social commitment as the Tata’s.

      The news of fire in Nano’s appeared to me as a typical competitor marketing activity out of fear. There are Honda’s, Hyundai’s, Maruti’s and even premium segment cars going up in flames every now and then. May be, those don’t get the deserved publicity. And it was proven that, the fire happened due to the presence of foreign elements, owners tampering with the wiring system at local workshops, who were ill equipped to handle it.

      The movement to force expel Tata’s out of Bengal was again easily a political/ competitor triggered action. The action was brutal on Tata’s and its easy to know why it still hurts him the most. It should not happen to any other company in India.

      I’ve been following cars and the Indian automobile industry for more than a decade and I can say with confidence no manufacturer gives you so much value for the money you pay as much as the Tata’s. Their engineering is almost there, on par with the best in the world ; there are still rough edges but no one offers cars suited for Indians as much as the Tata’s.

      Lets not follow the crowd and think bashing Tata’s is a fashionable act. Go and check out the new Nano, you’d be surprised to find out , its the best city car available in India.

      Reply
      1. sagar says:

        Well said Ayyappan. People do forget that prime intention of a 1 lac rupee car was to cater to a segment where people use to move their families on two wheelers. Even in todays scenario also you will see 4 people travelling on a bike with babies. It is this segment for which nano was made. But we indians didnt realised this and shame on us that we have underestimated such a wonderfull product. We keep on comparing it with altos and keep blaming it for not having power stearing, disk brakes, abs blah blah blah. We fogot that this car is made for the comman man in India and not somebody who drives a Mercedes. Yet we keep expecting it to be a feature rich car whereas its prime motto was to shift people who drive their families on two wheeler to a much safer option. Being an average earning person what will you prefer – moving your family with your small baby or driving in a car which is 10 times better and safer than a motorcycle. So it is my humble request to all the guys who drive alto and above class that not to expect luxury from nano. Its aim is different. Dont blame it for the things it was never meant for. I am proud of nano and every indian should be. So please please please dont underestimate nano.

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Karthik
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A bit of a car freak and a bike nut, and a fan of trucks and technology too. Expect sharp stories that focus on those four fronts. As always, stay tuned to IndianAutosBlog.com for quick and unassuming updates from across the world.