Tata Motors has reportedly killed the Nano, which made headlines a decade ago as the world’s cheapest new car.
The Nano’s demise has been confirmed apparently by its production numbers, the India Economic Times reports. Tata Motors produced just one example in June, down from the 275 made in the same month last year.
The Indian car maker said that in its present form, the Nano cannot continue beyond 2019. Tata marketed the Nano as the “people’s car” back in 2008 but failed to meet sales expectations, despite the Indian market being value-focused.
The Nano’s case has since become a lesson for any manufacturer that wants to succeed in India; it showed that cutting costs to the bone for a catchy title is pretty much worthless if the product itself is underwhelming and with a tendency to catch fire.
The world’s cheapest new car failed at a time when the rest of the Indian market grew in every segment. Passenger cars for example saw an increase of 38 percent in June, while commercial vehicles saw a 42-percent increase.
Power came from a tiny 0.6-liter two-cylinder petrol engine that made 37hp and 38lb-ft of torque. Later versions of the Tata Nano offered better safety thanks to improvements to its chassis as well as introduced the option of an automated manual transmission.