New Delhi: Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata, who had admitted that Nano 'wasted an early opportunity', has not given up hope on the small car, saying it has enormous potential "throughout the developing world".
"The fundamental economies of the Nano...Will continue to establish itself in the Indian market with wider sales and service network," he said in the Tata Motors' Annual Report for 2011-12.
After the global acclaim, when it was unveiled in 2008, Nano was plagued with start-up roadblocks in the state of West Bengal, Tata said.
Bullish on the prospects of the success of Nano, not only in India but also in other similar global markets, he said: "The potential market for such an affordable car is enormous throughout the developing world."
He said in 2011-12, sales of the Nano increased over the previous year, although the overall passenger car sales of Tata Motors "were below expectations".
Last fiscal, Nano clocked sales of 77,989 units as against 70,433 units in the previous year, up 10.73 percent. Sales in the domestic market stood 74,527 units, while exports were at 3,462 units in 2011-12.
In January, Tata admitted that Nano had 'wasted an early opportunity' due to teething problems.
He had also asserted that the very concept of Nano was a robust one stating: "The launches of similar small cars by others vindicate our belief that this segment was missing in the product line."
Tata had also lamented that many efforts were made to "discredit the product (Nano)".
"We never pushed it (Nano) as a poor man's car, but as an affordable family car. Whatever stigma is there in the market, we will undo it," Tata had said at the time of Auto Expo.
Initially, Nano had faced problems like fire incidents, following which the company had offered to installed safety devices. Tata Motors had also replaced starter motors in about 1.4 lakh Nanos.
Commenting on the overall market situation in passenger cars, Tata has said in the annual report: "Tata Motors will face even greater competition from the many automotive brands that are in the country.
"The Company will need to address the marketplace more effectively with its existing and future products in order to regain the level of market share that it earlier enjoyed."
For the 2011-12 fiscal, Tata Motors witnessed a growth of 6.22 percent in its overall passenger vehicles sales which stood at 3,70,834 units in the domestic market.
First Published: Friday, July 13, 2012, 16:19