When it launched in 2008, the Nano was dubbed the “people’s car” mainly due to its starting price of $3,500.
According to Automotive News, there wasn’t a formal obituary, rather, it was production numbers that confirmed the Nano was moving on to a better place – and it wasn’t exactly unexpected. Automaker Tata Motors produced 275 Nano last June and this June that number was down to one. The company reportedly admitted that the car, in its current state, wouldn’t realistically last beyond 2019.
There were several problems plaguing the Nano, primarily marketed in India, including the fact that it had a tendency to catch fire, and faced other safety problems like low crash test ratings. Another big lesson learned, said Automotive News, was that a “proud and aspirational” Indian middle class viewed the Nano as something of a poor man’s car.
The market in India is reportedly strong. But even though Tata suggests the brand could be revived with fresh investments, consumers rebuffing the brand for its frugal reputation might be a bigger problem than the company can overcome… not to mention plans to bring the vehicle to the United States by 2015 never materialized. According to the report, while the Indian car market isn’t obsessed with high tech and autonomous vehicles, it has moved past the bare bones “no frills” type ride the Nano would offer.
It’s also highly possible that the Nano lived a little longer than it ever should of for reasons that had little to do with logic. In 2016, the car was already facing severe headwinds, but the company said it would continue production due to “emotional reasons.”