The World's Cheapest Car Is Officially Dead


Good riddance to the Tata Nano. Not even India will miss you.

Nearly a decade after it was launched, the Tata Nano is getting the axe. The Indian automaker has confirmed the Nano "in its present form cannot continue production beyond 2019." Billed as the "People's Car" of India, Tata Motors had good intentions to help consumers buy an inexpensive form of basic transportation. The price tag? Approximately $2,000 USD. That level of cost-cutting also had some serious repercussions. Quality was not exactly its strongest selling point and it had a tendency to catch fire.

Perhaps another reason for the Nano's overall failure and upcoming death is the fact that the Indian auto market, in general, is doing quite well. According to Bloomberg, sales of passenger vehicles, including SUVs, increased 38 percent last month. Even two-wheeled motorbikes saw a sales boost by 22 percent during that same time. For a period, the Nano did what it was intended to do: get the middle class into a vehicle for the cheapest price possible. But its flaws, such as that tendency to break out into flames, were quickly exposed. Meanwhile, the Indian middle class has been doing better financially speaking, so are able to afford a more practical vehicle.

The Nano also began to suffer a serious drop in sales and exports, another clear indicator that its time has come. For now, Tata Motors, which also happens to be the parent company of Jaguar Land Rover, says it will continue building the Nano for a few key markets. More than likely there's a parts surplus and Tata wants to use it up before production permanently halts. So goodbye, Tata Nano. Not even India wanted you anymore.

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