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Do giants want the Nano to fail?

While changing the rules of automotive manufacturing worldwide, Tata Nano is also giving sleepless nights to heads of many car companies worldwide, who are hoping that the car will fail in the market reports Sumant Banerji.

autos Updated: Jan 06, 2010 21:47 IST
Sumant Banerji

While changing the rules of automotive manufacturing worldwide, Tata Nano is also giving sleepless nights to heads of many car companies worldwide, who are hoping that the car will fail in the market.

Bernd Bohr, the chairman of the world’s largest automotive component manufacturer Bosch, in a startling revealation, told Hindustan Times that many global car companies are still sitting on the fence on the Nano and are hoping that the product will not succeed. He said that a lot of this was because a Nano-like project could not have been conceived in the US or Europe.

"If Nano does well then they may have to look at a project like that themselves, which will be very challenging. It would involve a complete different way of making cars, which is alien to them. If you have to make a low-cost car, you have to be here in India as you cannot do it anywhere else."

The Rs 3-lakh crore (45.1 billon euro) company operates in over 60 countries and provides fuel injection systems, brakes and diesel engines among others to the Tata Nano. Bohr said he learnt a lot of lessons while working on the project, some of which is being used in the developed markets as well.

"The Nano was a different project for us in the sense that when we started working on it the only constant thing was the price," he said. "So the project evolved with us and Tata gave us a lot of leeway. In all other projects that we work, there are specifications that we follow, which cut down on the level of innovation that can be done. Since this was being built from scratch we knew we were doing something radical."