Tata Motors launches Nano Twist with e-power-steering, price spikes, but 'beats' Maruti Suzuki

Written by PTI | Mumbai | Updated: Jan 13 2014, 23:02pm hrs
Tata Nano TwistTata Nano Twist
Tata Motors, facing steep fall in sales, said it expects 50 per cent of the Nano sales to come from the new variant, the Twist, launched today that sports an electric power steering and is priced Rs 14,000 higher than the existing top-end model and is priced at Rs 2.47 lakh (ex-showroom Kochi).

Tata Motors claimed the Nano Twist is the first in the category to have an electric power steering as all other manufacturers like Maruti Suzuki India offer only hydraulic power steering.

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The Nano Twist is priced at Rs 1.55 lakh to Rs 2.36 lakh, the company said, adding that it will continue to roll out the existing models.

The company is planning to take the Nano to two more markets outside the country, the details of which will be announced soon, said Ankush Arora, senior VP for marketing and sales, passenger vehicles division at Tata Motors.

On the rationale for launching the Nano Twist with a power-steering now and not a diesel model, Arora said consumer preferences have changed and the company wants to offer the Nano as "a wholesome package."

It can be recalled that all these years the company had been maintaining that the Nano does not require a power steering as its engine is fitted in the rear.

The Nano Twist comes with the rear-mounted 600cc in petrol engine.

Arora refused to talk on the media reports about an 800-cc engine. He also refused to offer a time-line for the proposed diesel model.

On how the Nano is doing in the export markets Nepal and Sri Lanka, Arora said in Sri Lanka it sells around 200 units a month, while in the Himalayan country it is only about 30 units.

On the CNG model, he said it is doing extremely well especially in those markets where the fuel price has come down like Ahmedabad but has shown some fall in those markets where the price has gone up.

The new Nano Twist was also launched in the Kerala market.

Since its launch, Nano's customer profile has been mainly the elderly and the women customers and the youth. The new vehicle is based on the demand of the youth, Girish A Wagh, Vice President and Head Small Car Project, Tata Motors, told reporters in Kochi.

Last year, Tata Motors had sold about 35,000 units of Nano cars nationally and with the launch of the new vehicle the company was expecting 'significant' growth in its volumes, he said.

Currently, the Nano was being exported to Sri Lanka and Nepal and the company was eyeing the Asean nations and some other countries for export this year, he said.

Post 2012, about 45 per cent of Nano owners have been under the age of 34. There is a tremendous shift towards youth, trendy new age customers, Virat Khullar, Head-Product Marketing, Passenger Vehicles, Tata Motors said.

Kerala was the largest market for Nano last year and it had sold on an average 550 cars a month in the state.