Admitting that Tata Group made a “bunch of mistakes” in the sales and marketing of Nano, iconic business leader Ratan Tata today said branding it as the ‘cheapest’ rather than most affordable car was the greatest flaw that distanced people from it.
“Nano was made to reach out to people, (but) it never has. It is meant to be reachable throughout India with our dealerships. But we made our bunch of mistakes,” Tata Sons Chairman Emeritus said during in an interaction with students of Great Lakes Institute of Management during its 11th Convocation here.
He said that the biggest mistake was getting the car branded as cheapest rather than most affordable.
“…And that had a negative impact on the car in the market, people did not want to be seen in the cheapest car and I think that has been our greatest deficiency that has disenabled the car to perform what it was trying to do,” he said.
Tata said Nano was designed by a group which had an average age of 25 or 26 and added that it was an exhilarating exercise of trying to produce an affordable car that could be purchased for a lakh of rupees.
The launch of the vehicle was success far beyond expectation, he said.
“Unfortunately, the lessons we learnt were perhaps to look more carefully at a situation where we had an aggressive head of government , somebody talk of Bengal Tiger, but it is (actually a) Bengal Tigress,” he said in apparent reference to to his company’s decision to pull out its proposal to locate the Nano manufacturing plant at Singur in West Bengal due to political opposition.
“During that year we lost a lot of excitement over the new product. We gave our competitors an opportunity to make some stories about us,” he said.