Shutterstock photo
Markets

Tata Nano gets sporty

Shutterstock photo

Shutterstock photo

Tata Motors ( TTM , quote ) hopes it has the ticket to breaking the Nano out of the cheap car sales doldrums: replace that poky 624cc engine with a howling new 800cc monster.

[caption align="alignright" caption="The Alpha Romeo of India"]

[/caption]

That might be overselling the new engine a tad.

But The Economic Times reported on March 1 that "persons familiar with the matter" said Tata was working on a sportier, more powerful Nano to be launched in early 2013.

The new engine and any accompanying design changes would move the Nano out of its ultra-low-cost market segment, putting it in the entry-level market against such brands as the Hyundai Eon and the Maruti Alto. The current version with the 624cc engine would continue to sold, but would be farmed out to semi-urban and rural markets.

Tata is also reportedly working on a diesel variant of the Nano , which would be a significant technological innovation due to the car's small size.

Abandoning the Nano's identity as "the People's Car" may seem a little desperate, but Tata has little choice. The company sells about 7,500 Nanos per month, below the break-even point, and nothing Tata has done so far has moved the needle on sales volumes.

The company hasn't given up, though, and Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata promised back in January that the Nano would see a "resurrection."

No word yet on whether the sportier Nano will come with a spoiler to complement that 800cc powerhouse.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Other Topics

Stocks