Tata Nano: the CEO’s plans to sell it in Europe

Published: 21 June 2010

Carl-Peter Forster, CEO of Tata Motors, has told CAR of his hopes for Tata’s expansion in Europe – with plans to launch the Nano here with a diesel and possibly an electric version.

You can read the full interview with Forster in the new July 2010 issue of CAR Magazine out this week.

Tata is already the world’s fourth largest commercial vehicle producer and it is a strong force in the Indian car market. But with Forster at the helm, and now that Jaguar and Land Rover are fully integrated into Tata Motors’s global structure, the company plans to look outside its domestic stronghold.

Car-Peter Forster on the Tata Nano

‘The Nano was a particularly gutsy initiative,’ he told us. ‘It’s an asset both in India and abroad, and one which our competitors have discovered is not so easy to copy! The Nano is clearly a vehicle for developing markets which needs some fine-tuning for developed markets. There are possibilities in Europe and the US. We’re looking into that now.

‘We are thinking about how to position it, where to sell it, what role could an electric version play. For less than 40% of the cost of a similarly sized car, you get an amazingly spacious vehicle.’

However, Forster warned that the European or American Nano would not arrive overnight. ‘We have to roll it out in India first,’ he said. ‘We are looking at opportunities in developed markets, but don’t expect it for at least 18 months; changes to meet passive safety and emissions regulations will take a bit of time.’

He said that Tata was looking into a diesel engine programme for the Nano, but pledged that a Nano for developed markets would still be cheap. How will it be priced? ‘Below everybody else,’ he smiled.

By Phil McNamara

Editor-in-chief of CAR magazine