Tata Nano has been one of the most popular cars in India over the years. Now, nearly 14 years later, Ratan Tata has revealed the reason why Nano was made in the first place.
The Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons in an Instagram post shared the backstory of how the small car’s idea came to him, and it’s nothing but wholesome. “What really motivated me, and sparked a desire to produce such a vehicle, was constantly seeing Indian families on scooters, maybe the child sandwiched between the mother and father, riding to wherever they were going, often on slippery roads,” wrote Tata.
Unveiled on January 10, 2008, at an auto fair, Nano was billed as India’s cheapest car and fulfilled the dream of many Indian families of owning a four-wheeler. It hit the market in 2009 with an initial price of close to Rs 1 lakh for the basic model. Although the manufacturer halted its production in 2018, it has a special place in the hearts of many middle-class families.
Tata, who studied Architecture at Cornell University in 1959, added that he was trying to find a way to make something safe and affordable and it all began with scribbling something on a piece of paper that went on to have such a legacy. “One of the benefits of being in the School of Architecture was it taught me to doodle when I was free,” he wrote.
The 84-year-old industrialist explained: “At first, we were trying to figure out how to make two-wheelers safer, the doodles became four wheels, no windows, no doors, just a basic dune buggy. But I finally decided it should be a car.” He concluded, saying: “The Nano, was always meant for all our people.”
The post garnered a lot of attention online in a few hours, with many sharing their fond memories associated with the car and thanking him for making it.
Talking to Humans of Bombay in 2020, Ratan Tata revealed some struggles in making Nano an affordable car. “By the time we launched the Nano, our costs were higher, but I had made a promise, and we delivered on that promise… Looking back, I’m still proud of the car and the decision to go ahead with it,” he had said.