Why Nano's worries aren't nano sized

The dipping Nano sales should be worrisome to Tata Motors. No one can doubt the business marvel that Nano is. Targeting lower income consumers so they can buy a product they never dreamt they could, is not just a great business idea, its noble too. But then there's something else. What are the considerations consumers have, when they buy a car?

Sure, price and value for money is important. But I believe a car buy is partly an esteem buy, even for low-income consumers. That is, there's an aspirational value that the car must fulfill. And on that count, the Nano doesn't score too well. I mean, a current bike rider who's family man may want to graduate to a car, but will he prefer the Nano. Or will he wait that bit longer and save that bit more, so he can go higher to a car like the Alto? It would be interesting to see if the current Nano owners are first time car owners or are have they bought the Nano as a second car?

Something tells me the first time buyer who associates aspirations with his car buy may move away from the Nano to another entry-hatchback. Its the second car buyers who may not have any qualms at buying a Nano. Now that should again be worrisome because there are no numbers in the latter. Its the first car low income consumer-buyer who can give volumes to Nano.

I hope those numbers come through for the Nano so more lower income families don't have to use the super-unsafe bikes on to Indian roads.


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