Tata Nano no more? World’s cheapest car faces axe


Honorary Master
Aug 9, 2009
Sad story...

Mumbai, India - Tata’s Nano was the car that was going to revolutionise affordable motoring, debuting to much fanfare just over 10 years ago.

And yet it all went up in smoke, both literally and figuratively, with dismal sales throughout its life and even controversy over reports of cars catching fire.

Now it appears that the Nano's number is up.

According to Automotive News, Tata produced just one Nano last month, while also quoting Tata as previously stating that the car in its present form “cannot continue beyond 2019."

If there is a successor on the way, it certainly hasn’t been announced at this stage, and if history is anything to go by, a similarly-positioned car would not make any business sense.

The Nano was proudly billed as the world’s cheapest car - hitting the Indian market with a base price under 100 000 rupees (the equivalent at the time of just R17 500) back in 2008, but most versions cost a lot more than that and today the car starts at the equivalent of around R47 000.

Tata even tried to reinvent its minicar in 2015, with the release of the more upmarket ‘GenX’ variant with more luxury features, in a desperate bid to move the car upstream in a market that increasingly favoured value over ‘cheap and nasty’.

The underlying sentiment was that it’s simply not cool to drive such a cheap car.

Not aiding its cause was a rather modest 28kW 624cc two-cylinder engine and four-speed manual gearbox, and a questionable safety record. Let's not start on comfort features - entry versions didn’t even sport a fan or heater.

In the end, the world’s most basic car was simply too basic. But it certainly seemed like a good idea at the time.



Ivan Leon

Expert Member
May 27, 2008
2012 Tata Nano: From Bollywood to Hollywood.

Go on a journey with Jay's brand new Nano - from the factory in Bollywood to the streets of Hollywood!

At $2,700, the world's cheapest car features a two-cylinder engine making 35 hp with a top speed of about 65 mph, dancers not included.



Honorary Master
Aug 9, 2009
Tata Nano culled as demand for world’s cheapest car dies

Just one example of the £1700 city car was sold last month, a fall of 274 units from June 2017

Tata has ended production of its Nano city car, which has long held the title of the world’s cheapest car.

The Indian manufacturer has experienced fast-falling demand for the Nano, with just one being sold last month – a 274 unit decrease on June 2017.

Despite costing from as little as £1700, sales of the Nano, which uses a 625cc, twin-cylinder engine developing 35bhp, have starkly contrasted the rapid rises seen in the wider Indian car market.

Experts claim that this is as much an example of the rising expectation of Indian consumers as it is a reflection of how dated the back-to-basics car, which entered production in 2008, had become.

Tata described the Nano as its “people’s car” back when the compact four-door model first arrived. Measuring just 2.2 metres long, it’s about half the length of the Ford Focus.

The Nano was never officially sold outside India, but some have been exported.

While there are no plans for the Nano to return to production, a Tata spokesman told Bloomberg that the car in its “present form cannot continue beyond 2019”, suggesting an evolved version could be in the pipeline.