Back in the game: Tata Nano sales zoom ahead of its segment
It looked like the end of the road for the compact car Tata Nano towards the end of last year. Launched as the world's cheapest car and a pet project of Tata Group chairman emeritus Ratan Tata, the car struggled to sell even after it was relaunched as Tata Nano GenX.
In fact, continuous slide in sales from September-December 2015 led several media reports to expect Tata Motors to pull the plug on the Nano. The carmaker sold only 1,368 Nanos in December 2015, down from 2,415 units in September 2015, according to data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
But Tata Motors has managed to revive Tata Nano from its near death. The compact car has shown signs of revival in April, with a 50.3% growth in sales. Tata Nano sales grew to 1,100 units in April from 732 units in March.
The compact car was the third-highest selling car during the month and also contributed to pushing Tata Motors' passenger vehicle sales growth to 2.7% in April.
Consequently, the Nano was also the fastest growing in its segment during the month. Its competitors in the A segment or Hatch segment (cars upto 4,000mm length) include Hyundai Eon, Maruti Suzuki Alto and Renault Kwid.
While Hyundai Eon posted a 0.8% decline in sales in April with 5,417 units from 5,460 units in March, Maruti Suzuki Alto's sales plummeted by 25% to 16,582 units from 22,101 units in March 2016. Renault Kwid posted a marginal 0.5% growth with the sale of 9,795 units from 9,743 units in March 2016.
Could this be a recovery for the small car?