You are in a great mood and all set for an evening out with friends. You drive your stylish sedan out of the parking lot. But your smile vanishes as the vehicle gets stuck in a traffic jam. Suddenly, the huge size of your car is a hindrance. You even envy those two-wheelers and the odd Nanos that manoeuvre through the gap between vehicles and escape the traffic jam. But you find solace reasoning, “my car has powerful air-conditioner, a high-end music system, power-steering and many other technological innovations which the Nano doesn’t.”
However, this reasoning will not work anymore as Tata Motors has launched the GenX Nano, branded as the next big thing in the hatch-back segment. When the entire car industry was focusing on sedans, Tata Motors dared to think different and launched an affordable hatchback, the Tata Nano priced at Rs 1 lakh. But with dipping sales, what came to the fore was a marketing strategy gone wrong.
In a quest to rebrand its creation, Tata Motors launched the GenX Nano today, projecting it as the ‘smart city car’. It has five variants: the entry-level XE variant is priced at Rs 1.99 lakhs, which goes up to Rs 2.49 lakhs for the top-end XT variant. The two new variants, XMA and XTA, come with ‘Easy Shift’ Automated Manual Transmission. They are priced at Rs 2.69 lakhs and Rs 2.89 Lakhs respectively.
All the complaints of Nano users have been considered while designing the GenX Nano. The company has launched a Horizenext strategy, which encompasses three forms of innovation—Designext, Drivenext and Connectnext.
The new launch has an infinity theme design on the interior and the exterior of the car. Woes of ‘storage capacity’ have been addressed by the 110-litre boot space, which can be comfortably accessed through a hatch. The boot can comfortably seat one cabin baggage and two hand baggages. Apart from the five variants, a lot of innovation has been done by the design team in terms of providing luxury in an affordable way.
“We are the first in this segment to provide AmphiTheatre and bluetooth connectivity,” said Girish Wagh, senior VP, programme, planning and project management for passenger vehicle division, Tata Motors. The first three variants come with four-speed manual transmission. XMA and XTA has an option of ‘sports mode’, for performance-oriented drivers. Driving through bumper-to-bumper traffic has been made easy with the new ‘creep’ feature. This enables the car to crawl forward as soon as the brake is released. The Electric Power Assisted Steering (ePAS), which enables easy maneuverability, continues to be a part of the Drivenext design.
Never the one to compromise on safety, Tata’s GenX Nano comes with features like crumple zone to cushion frontal impact, reinforced body structure for enhanced frontal crash safety, robust side doors with intrusion beams for side crash protection, anti-roll bar for high-speed stability and SUV-like ground clearance of 180 mm to tackle rough patches on Indian roads.The GenX Nano has increased its fuel tank capacity to 24 litres. It promises a mileage of 25.3 km/l in the manual variants and 21.9 km/l in the AMT variants. A few USPs on which Nano’s new offering is betting its success on are—spaciousness, customisation and technological advancement coupled with affordable pricing.
The GenX Nano comes in 21 different colour schemes, and a buyer can colour the interior and exterior of the car to his liking. “Fourty-seven percent of Nano buyers are first time car buyers. Forty percent are additional car buyers and the remaining 13 percent are exchange customers,” said Mayank Pareek, president, passenger vehicles business unit, Tata Motors. He added that 11,000 customers have already registered for exchanging their Nano with GenX Nano.
The target audience for the GenX Nano is the smart city dweller, who is looking for a comfortable and affordable driving experience without compromising on quality. Pareek said that Tata Motors has constantly outperformed the industry growth. While the industry grew at 16 percent last month, Tata Motors has grown by thirty-seven percent. “There is big opportunity in the entry-level segment and that’s our target audience,” said Pareek. However, he refused to share details of expected sales volumes and capacity utilization.
With design, technology and safety in place, the GenX Nano range seems to be the perfect buy for a city dweller. How far Tata’s vision converts into sales remains to be seen.