Tata Genx Nano launched @ 1.99Lakh
The much-anticipated 2015 Tata Nano GenX has been finally launched in the Indian market today at a staring price of Rs. 1.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The newly introduced AMT (Easy Shift) version, however, start at Rs. 2.69 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). With the new model, Tata Motors is aiming to revive the Nano brand and position it as a more up-market product. In fact, the entire campaign designed for the car is to project it as a ‘smart city car’, thus getting away with the ‘cheap’ tag that went against the brand in the past.
Unlike the first version of the Nano, which was developed based on a Ratan Tata hunch that people may upgrade from “unsafe” two-wheelers to “safe” cars if only the pricing was right, this time the company is launching 21 variants of GenX after detailed consumer studies and feedback. The “Rs 1 lakh car” has more than $1 billion of investments riding on it. If it does not shine this time, the Nano will be more or less history.
The Nano’s primary problem has always been its perception. Even before it was launched, it was dubbed the “Rs 1 lakh car” The consumer wondered if she was getting a glorified autorickshaw or a poor quality four-wheeler for that kind of money.
In its first relaunch, the management goofed again. It focused on affordability, and offered EMIs that matched those for two-wheelers. This reinforced the “cheap” perception and also that this may not be quite a real car, especially in a market where second-hand cars were available in plenty at comparable prices.
The second relaunch, which involved a few minor design tweaks and quality improvements and the creation of a new Nano sub-brand – the Twist – fared a little better, but fundamental impressions did not change.
Now, things seem to be different. At the upper end of the Tata GenX pricing, it is only around Rs 50,000 cheaper than the base Alto 800, which has an on-road price in Mumbai of around Rs 3.5 lakh, including insurance and registration. While a saving of Rs 50k is nothing to sniff at, clearly this time the Tata Nano is not using price alone as its selling point. It is selling a real car, with the right consumer benefits. It is, according to Girish Wagh, senior Vice-President at Tata Motors, being repositioned in the small hatchback compact car segment.
Now with a more up-market cabin, slightly updated engine, bigger fuel tank and exterior changes, the company is aiming to reach to a larger audience base. While the 2015 Tata Nano’s exterior and interior look slightly different, the addition of an automated manual transmission and openable hatch are the two most significant changes given to the hatchback. Just so you know, the 5-speed AMT is the same unit that is found in the Tata Zest diesel AMT version.
Talking about its exterior design, the Tata Nano GenX 2015 gets new smoke headlamps, alloy wheels, Tata signature grille and an openable boot. The boot is claimed to offer a luggage carrying capacity of 110-litres. The car with a larger fuel tank (24-litres) now offers a range of over 450kms. Earlier, the car had 15-litres of fuel capacity. The car’s cabin too, looks refreshing and slightly more up-market with several new features such as Zest-inspired steering wheel, front power windows, amphistream music system with 4 speakers, etc.
The Tata Nano’s engine, 624cc, two-cylinder MPFI petrol, remains the same, though the company has added a new cylinder head and aluminium block to help the car run smoother than before. That said, it continues to churn out a maximum power output of 38bhp and 51Nm of peak torque. The powertrain is offered with both a 5-speed AMT gearbox and the regular 4-speed manual transmission. The AMT gearbox is offered only with the Easy Shift trim, while other trims come with a manual gearbox.
We should wait for consumer feedback to check if the new positioning and changes work, but there is little doubt that the Tata Motors bosses have learnt the right lessons from past failures. They are no longer trying to sell a replacement for two-wheelers or a “cheap car”, even though the Nano will indeed attract upgrades from the two-wheeler segment.
2015 Tata Nano GenX Mileage
Manual variants – 25.3km/l
AMT variants – 21.9km/l