No, no, Nano

India’s Tata Motors is giving up on its smallest car, the Nano:

Billed as the world’s cheapest car upon its release in 2008, the Indian-market four-door was tailor-made to lure that country’s growing market of would-be vehicle owners off motorcycles and into a car with two cylinders, 37 horsepower, and a rear hatch that didn’t open.

Not unexpectedly, the vehicle quickly developed a stigma.

Cheap? Yes it was. Oh so cheap. Roughly $2,000 a decade ago, but now $3,500.

As the Indian market grew, so did the aspirations of its buyers, and despite new features — an automated manual as an alternative to the four-speed stick, a rear hatch that did open — sales tailed off after 2011, and, says Bloomberg, production last month was, um, one.

Tata will continue to sell Jaguars and Land Rovers, the very antithesis of the Nano.


  1. McGehee »

    12 July 2018 · 11:37 am

    I think I’ve seen Nanos in some car-crash videos from India — the kind that come with a “Don’t watch this, period” disclaimer on them.

    I’ve learned to pay attention to such disclaimers.

  2. fillyjonk »

    12 July 2018 · 12:21 pm

    Things like the Nano, and also the SmartCar (which I guess has a much better safety record, but still, I’d never get out on the interstate in one) is that they’d be great if you had a road system devoted purely to small conveyances, but here in the US, where you gotta share the road with semis and giant duallie pickups and the like….well, you might not be safer in a big car but you feel safer, so you probably drive less tentatively, which actually IS safer.

    I suspect the roller-skates-with-engines are great in a city where you never have to leave the city, but for those of us in ruralia, they’re not so great. (Especially if you want to do 2 weeks of grocery shopping in one whack – where do you put the bags?)

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    12 July 2018 · 10:01 pm

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