While Cyrus Mistry, the ousted Tata Sons chairman, had in his letter dated October 25 pointed that Nano consistently lost money and any turnaround strategy for the company (Tata Motors) requires to “shut it down,” Maruti Suzuki chairman, RC Bhargava on Thursday said that Nano failed as it could not meet the aspirations of the buyer in totality and not just because of one or two reasons.
Responding to a query on what he felt about the product and whether MSIL would have marketed it differently, while Bhargava credited Ratan Tata for attempting to offer an affordable car to the masses through the Nano, he added: “A car buyer does not just look for transport while buying a car. He looks beyond transport and Nano failed to meet the aspirations of a car buyer in totality.” He further said that “the project at that price became an insurmountable challenge to meet customer aspirations.” He said, right from the beginning, MSI and its parent Suzuki were clear that they could not have come up with such a product at that price despite being a major small car manufacturer.
While Bhargava spoke about the success of Maruti Suzuki India Limited and its parent Suzuki Motor Corporation’s dependence upon the Indian subsidiary to succeed, he said that the company is now focussing on developing hybrid small cars. “Low cost hybrid cars is the future and that needs to be developed. MSIL and SMC are working on it,” said Bhargava.
Pointing that India is the fifth largest car market in the world, Bhargava said that if the economy grows at 8-10 per cent, then the car market should also grow at not less than 10 per cent. Asked about the impact of taxi aggregators like Ola and Uber on the automobile manufacturers, Bhargava said they were good for the industry and in future these types of companies will become large purchasers of cars. “Moreover, as cars of aggregators are used optimally….. the replacement cycle is faster and so it is better for the industry,” he added.