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Tata Nano

The Tata Nano is a city car manufactured by Tata Motors. Made and sold in India, the Nano is the cheapest car in the world today. Before it went on sale a price of , was widely touted. Since its 2009 debut, the price has increased, and, while the Nano remains the lowest cost four-wheeled passenger vehicle in India, it's significantly more expensive than a motorcycle, a popular means of cheap transport in the country.



After having successfully launched the low cost Tata Ace truck in 2005, Tata Motors began development of an affordable car that would appeal to the many Indians who drive motorcycles.[1] The purchase price of this no frills auto was brought down by dispensing with most nonessential features, reducing the amount of steel used in its construction, and relying on low cost Indian labor.

The introduction of the Nano received much media attention due to its low price.[2]

Expectations and effects

One study, by Indian rating agency CRISIL, thought the Nano would expand the nation's car market by 65%.[3]

It was anticipated that its 2009 launch would greatly affect the used car market, and prices did drop 25-30% in the lead up to the launch.[4] Sales of the Nano's nearest competitor, the Maruti 800, dropped by 20% immediately following the unveiling of the Nano.[5] It is unknown if the Nano has had a lasting effect on the prices of and demand for close substitutes, however. In July 2012, Tata Group Chairman, Rattan Tata while admitting that Nano wasted an early opportunity due to initial problems, said that it has an immense potential in the developing world.[6]

Singur factory pullout

Tata Motors announced in 2006 that the Nano would be manufactured in Singur, West Bengal.[7] Local farmers soon began protesting the forced acquisition of their land the new factory entailed.[7] Tata first delayed the Nano launch and later decided to build the car in a different state (Gujarat) instead.[8]


Announced as the least expensive production car in the world, Tata aimed for a price of one lakh rupees, or 100,000, which was approximately $2,000 US at the time.[9] Only the very first customers were able to purchase the car at that price, however, and, as of 2012, the price for the basic Nano is around 150,000.[10] Increasing material costs may be to blame for this rapid rise in price.[11]

Compared to the Volkswagen Beetle it has a relatively low price. In 1990, the price of the Beetle from Mexican factories was $5,300,[12] worth $}} today. The Ford Model T's initial price was about $850, equivalent to $}} today.[13]

Cost cutting features

Institute of Development in Automotive Engineering]].[1]

The Nano's design implements many measures that make its manufacture cheap.

  • The Nano's trunk is only accessible from inside the car, as the rear hatch does not open.[14]
  • One windscreen wiper instead of the usual pair[2]
  • No power steering, unnecessary due to its light weight[2]
  • Three lug nuts on the wheels instead of the usual four[15]
  • Only one wing mirror[2]
  • Radio or CD player is optional[2]
  • No airbags on any model[16]
  • 624cc rear engine has only 2 cylinders[2]
  • No air conditioning in base model[2]

Technical specifications

The Nano (2012) is a car with a two-cylinder 624 cc rear engine.

The car complies with BS4 Indian emission standards and can also meet European emission standards as well.

The development of the Nano had led to 31 Design and 37 Technology patents being filed

Engine: 2 cylinder petrol with Bosch multi-point fuel injection (single injector) all aluminium
Value Motronic engine management platform from Bosch
2 valves per cylinder overhead camshaft
Compression ratio: 9.5:1
bore stroke:
Power: @ 5500 +/-500 rpm[17]
Torque: @ 3000 +/-500 rpm
Layout and Transmission Rear wheel drive
4-speed manual transmission
Steering mechanical rack and pinion w/o servo
Turning radius: 4 metres[17]
Performance Acceleration: 0-: 8 seconds[17]
Maximum speed: [17]
Fuel efficiency (overall): 25.35 kilometres per litre ()
Body and dimensions Seat belt: 4[18]
Trunk capacity: [19]
Suspension, Tires & Brakes Front brake: 180 mm drum[17]
Rear brake: 180 mm drum[17]
Front track: [17]
Rear track: [17]
Ground clearance: [17]
Front suspension: McPherson strut with lower A arm
Rear suspension: Independent coil spring
12-inch wheels[20]
Supplier [21] Part/system [21]
Texspin Clutch Bearings
Bosch Oxygen sensor, Gasoline injection system (diesel will follow), starter, alternator, brake system
Continental AG Gasoline fuel supply system, fuel level sensor
Caparo Inner structural panels
HSI AUTO Static sealing systems (Weather Strips)
Delphi Instrument cluster
Rane Madras Limited Steering Assembly
Denso Windshield wiper system (single motor and arm)
FAG Kugelfischer Rear-wheel bearing
Federal-Mogul Pistons, Piston rings, Spark plugs, Gaskets, Systems protection
Ficosa Rear-view mirrors, interior mirrors, manual and CVT shifters, washer system
Freudenberg Engine sealing
GKN Driveshafts
INA Shifting elements
ITW Deltar Outside and inside door handles
Johnson Controls Seating
Mahle Camshafts, spin-on oil filters, fuel filters and air cleaners
Saint-Gobain Glass
TRW Brake system
Ceekay Daikin/Valeo Clutch sets
Vibracoustic Engine mounts
Visteon Air induction system
ZF Friedrichshafen AG Chassis components, including tie rods
Behr HVAC for the luxury version
D rr Lean Paint Shop

Radical powerplants

A Nano Europa concept car

While the Nano is driven by a petrol engine, several more-radical powerplants have been proposed but not put into production. Also, an upscale version was shown at an autoshow.

Compressed-air engine

Tata Motors signed an agreement in 2007 with a French firm, Motor Development International, to produce a compressed air car Nano.[22] While the vehicle was supposed to be able to travel approximately on $3 US of electricity to compress the air, Tata's Vice President of Engineering Systems confirmed in late 2009 that vehicle range continues to be a problem.[22][23]


A website has speculated that the Nano might be made available with a diesel engine.[24] Tata motors have not confirmed this but have stated, "As of now there is no Diesel variant of the Nano. The Nano is only available in a Petrol version."[25]

Electric vehicle

Tata has discussed the possibility of producing an electric version,[26] and while it showcased an electric vehicle Nano at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show,[27] no such car is currently on the market.

If an EV Nano is sold it is expected to be the "world's cheapest electric car",[28] use lithium-ion batteries, and have a range of .[29] A Norwegian electric car specialist, Milj bil Grenland AS, has been named as a supposed partner in the project.[26]

European export

An upscale Nano concept car called the Europa was shown at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show.[30]

Car fires

There were reports of several fire incidents involving the Nano.[31] The company denied those were connected to the car s design or its parts and blamed foreign electrical equipment found on top of the exhaust system.[31] The company offered to retrofit the exhaust and electrical systems but refused to recall the cars.[31] The company extended the warranty on the car, including those already sold, from 18 months to four years in early December 2010.[31]


The Nano has received a tepid reception from Indian consumers, who may prefer to drive motorcycles.


In the media

  • Small Wonder: The Making of Nano a book about the creation of the Tata Nano.[36]
  • A Megafactories episode on this vehicle.

See also


External links

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