The Tata Nano Diesel seems to be firmly entering the No-Show territory after more reports have surfaced about the car not slated for production anytime soon. All indications around the Nano Diesel suggest that the project has been shelved by Tata Motors. In December last year, we heard the first murmurs of the Nano Diesel being put in cold storage.
Last month, official word from Tata Motors also suggested that the future looked bleak for what promised to be the most fuel efficient turbo diesel engined car in the world. This month, yet another report, quoting unnamed sources indicates that the Nano Diesel might not see the light of the day in the foreseeable future.
So, what has brought about the change in Tata Motors’ decision regarding the Nano Diesel?
Firstly, the price difference between petrol and diesel fuel are lower than ever before and with the Indian government seeking to deregulate diesel prices completely, the price difference between petrol and diesel could slip to under 10 rupees by the end of this year.
For a small car buyer, forking out a premium of anywhere from 50,000 rupees to a lakh rupees, over a petrol powered car for a diesel engined car doesn’t make sense, especially if the driving is limited to under 1,000 kilometers a month. Tata Motors is positioning the Nano as a smart city car, by moving away from the car’s earlier marketing as the least priced set of four wheels that money can buy anywhere in the world.
By adding a power steering, an automated manual transmission and an openable hatch lid will take the Nano Petrol’s ex-showroom price close to 3 lakh rupees. At this price, Tata Motors will want to sell the Nano as a ultra convenient city car designed to do city distances rather than as a car that can conquer both the city and the highway. City distances typically mean lesser than 1,000 kilometers of running each month.
With these distances in mind, a Nano Diesel simply doesn’t seem to fit into the scheme of things, technical difficulties of adapting a diesel motor to the Nano notwithstanding.