Tata Nano: What’s the buzz?
Nano is said to be the dream of Ratan Tata who wished to see every Indian middle class family own a car of their own. As many as 3 million cars have been booked in the first week after it’s official launch all over India on March 23rd 2009. A lot has been said and written about the car and the features, Here’s mine. But what’s the deal about it that makes it so popular? Is it the attractive price? or the one of a kind design for the kind of price it’s being offered? What ever may be the reason, people continue to book the car paying 80 pc of the money at the time of booking even when they are not sure of when it will be delivered. Further in the post we’ll discuss why I wouldn’t buy a Nano.
How do you book it?
Apart from the quite so obvious – Book online, Tata has a one of a kind booking process. Tata has become the first company to collect Rs.300 (6USD Approx) for a booking form. These booking forms are available in all Tata showrooms across the country, forms are also made available at associate banks offering loans to customers (Rs.2999 for a Nano), forms just can be found at almost all places where a Tata product is sold, latest addition to the list.. Titan Watch showrooms.
What makes this car so popular? First thing I’d imagine is the number of features the car packs at a very affordable middle-class pocket. Offering the car at an EMI as low as 2999 makes it even more attractive. What emerges as another factor for booking early is that the company will pay interest for the the amount of time the booking amount is with the company before the delivery of the car. Tata however does not guarantee a Nano to every single booking, The allocation will be based on lottery. Another marketing genius by the Tata group.
I’d prefer to wait before the 100th Nano rolls out. I have never trusted Tata with any of it’s products specially after my experience with it’s DTH operation, Tata Sky. It’s been a bad experience with the DTH operator more with the kind of pricing they have and the paid after sales service they offer.
If you’ve been wondering what about Tata is that I hate.. Here’s some comparison between Tata Nano and Tata sky to help you understand better..
Their entry level cost is cheap and attractive.. both TataSky and Nano are available at a very affordable price and are packed with gifts for a entry level customer.. Have anything to contradict?
The products are marketed on it’s good and exclusive features.. Tata Sky gained popularity because of Active Sports, and Nano is becoming popular because of it’s spacious design and maneuverability.. Any contradictions yet?
You get to book it almost where ever you want.. I don’t have to talk about this.. or should I?
things change after you have brought the product and you are a what they call ‘A valued customer’..
Every single visit to fix an issue, big or small, comes for a price..
I called Tata Sky for a missing signal and they wanted to send a technician over to fix the problem.. I would have had to pay Rs.300 for a single visit.. Thanks to some online forums I aligned the dish myself and i got a signal.. When it comes to Nano, the design is such that there is no way possible to access the engine apart from ripping open the rear end of the car.. So for every single problem.. Big or small.. You will have to take the car to the nearest service centre.. needless to say, it’s going to cost you that much more..
The features that were earlier used to market the product are now gone..
Tata Sky removed Active sports which was costing them good money for the exclusive rights.. and added Active mall, a source of income.. Luckily for Nano customers.. It comes integrated into the product and there will be no change to it unless you want it.. But I have never doubted Tata’s marketing team, they will sure have a solution to this.. Have you test driven the Nano? There is not much being said about the engine in the reviews.. When you are in the car, the engine sounds could drive you crazy.. it sounds more like a Auto Rickshaw engine than a silent car engine.. By placing the engine on the rear end with not much insulation within the car given it’s low price, People at the back are sure to feel the heat.. (This is what i heard from a cousin who laid his hands on the smallest car)
I have heard that Tata has the best in it’s class customer service for all it’s cars.. But I doubt this with nano.. With not many similarities with the regular engines, nano could help Tata sell spare parts with monopoly.. There are no other alternatives in the market yet.. No mechanic is equipped to fix a problem.. So what looks like a cheap car now, could end as a costlier option a yeer or two later.. Just plain simple Tata Sky experience.. I regret buying the connection, but a lesson learnt and shared.. I would definitely wait for the 100th Nano to roll out, wait for people’s reaction on the after sale service and then decide on the Nano.. If you have made the choice to buy a Nano, tell me why!
PS: But there are always the loyal customers, customers who don’t complain even if there is a problem.. They simply pay up and forget about it because the service is good.. It’s my choice, i look for ‘value for money’ factor in anything that i buy.. If it’s not worth it, it will get a bad review.. and that’s my personal choice.