Summary Box: Tata Chief Says Cheap Nano No Flop

Published January 5, 2012 5:18PM (EST)

CHEAP WHEELS: The tiny Nano, which was unveiled three years ago as an automotive alternative for Indians who wanted to move up from motorbikes, found itself bogged down by production problems, poor sales and a series of car fires.

STILL ON THE ROAD: Ratan Tata, the soon-to-retire head of the Tata business empire, called it an "affordable, all-weather family car" that would flourish. He admitted the company didn't handle the rollout well. Violent protests forced Tata to relocate its factory, delaying the launch. And a string of fires in the cars scared off customers.

MEAGER FEATURES, GREAT MPG: The basic Nano has no heater, no cup holder and one windshield wiper. it also costs only about $2,600 and gets 55.5 miles to the gallon.

By Salon Staff

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