Snapshot: A few weeks ago, Tata Motors revealed that it was considering an automatic variant of the Nano for the Indonesian car market. This announcement instantly fueled speculations on whether Tata Motors would launch a Nano Automatic in India as well. All said, a clear signal from Tata Motors regarding an automatic variant of the Nano is yet to come.
At the recent launch of the power steering equipped Nano Twist in India, comments from a top Tata Motors official has fueled the latest rumours debating whether the Indian car maker would indeed launch an Automatic variant of the Nano, in a bid to re-position the world’s cheapest car as a city runabout that promises a low purchase price, convenience and fuel efficiency.
Half a decade ago, the Nano was conceived as a city car with a CVT automatic gearbox. Unsure of whether the Indian car buyer would fork out the additional money that a CVT automatic gearbox equipped car would cost, Tata Motors chose to play it safe and introduced the Nano with a 4 speed manual gearbox. After the initial euphoria surrounding the world’s least priced car ebbed, Tata Motors has found the going increasingly uphill with the Nano’s sales sagging to dismal levels.
Re-evaluating the positioning of the car, Tata Motors is said to be working on re-positioning the Nano as a smart city car, with convenience being its major selling points. Enter the Nano Automatic. Although the rumours suggesting the development of a Nano Automatic have been around for quite a while now, the latest move from Tata Motors to equip the Nano with a power steering has only bolstered the move towards making the Nano city car buyer friendly.
An automatic gearbox is a boon in the chaotic traffic conditions of Indian cities. With Maruti Suzuki paving the way for an all new transmission option in the form of the Automatic Manual Transmission (AMT), a Nano equipped with such a gearbox doesn’t sound far fetched after all. Notably, automatic gearboxes have gone through steady technological innovations, so much so that the latest units better manual gearboxes in terms of fuel efficiency.