The event was the launch of a scaled down version of Tata Motor's ambitious and most expensive crossover vehicle Aria, but inevitably the discussion veered around to the Nano and its below-par sales.
Faced with a 64% dip in the sales of the Nano, Tata Motors has embarked on a new distribution strategy with separate dealerships for the micro car, passenger cars, and utility vehicles. It has 250 dealerships across the country now, but plans to open 300 Nano showrooms and 100 utility vehicle showrooms by March 2012.
“There are a few corrections needed to be done in few areas,” said PM Telang, MD, Tata Motors India operation. “There is a need for rejigging of the product portfolio. We are also looking at some alternative dealership route.”
The Aria, which was launched in October last year, was relaunched on Tuesday as a cheaper 4X2 version with a price tag ranging between Rs 11.61 and Rs 14.26 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), nearly Rs 2 lakh less than the original 4X4 variant.
Tata said that the slow offtake of the small car that was initially expected to usher in a revolution was largely bacause it was being looked at as any other car.
“The Nano is not any other car but a very different product," said R Ramakrishnan, vice-president (commercial), passenger car business unit.