The Nano is a product from Tata Motors and is the brain child of Ratan Tata. When the car was launched it was announced that the car would cost Rs one lakh and would replace the two wheeler. It was touted as the common mans car. Unfortunately rising costs have played havoc and the car in its base version is almost Rs 1.5 lakh on the road.
In contrast the Maruti Suzuki is a shade costlier at about Rs 1.9 lakh, but it sells nearly 2500 pieces every month. This after its sales being curtailed in 13 Indian cities as it does not conform to Euro II emission norms. In comparison the Nano sells nowhere around the figures of the Suzuki car and as a result very few Nao's are seen on Indian roads.
The reason is not price alone, but the product in comparison to the Maruti 800 is pretty below par. The refinement that one sees in the Maruti is missing and people are not sure it is a reliable car on long drives. The Maruti can be driven without a blink up to a1000 km and the car will be none the worse for it. I myself have driven the car from Mumbai to Indore ( about 560km) very frequently and it handles like a breeze.
The cause of the Nano has not been helped with reports of the car catching fire and getting burnt up in about 6/7 cases. Such a thing happening in the USA would have necessiated a recall of the car. Probably a faulty wiring is the cause of the fires. But this is not good publicity for the Nano and Tata Motors.
Coming to the engine and steering, the Nano again lags behind the Maruti 800. Though the BHP of both the cars is the same, yet the Suzuki engine is more efficient in performance , though the Nano gives a higher mileage per liter of petrol. The steering of the base model of the Nano is stiff and needs refinement.
But the Indian public wants a reliable car and as Suzuki is on the roads for over 25 years it is the preferred car. Perhaps a little refinement in the Nano may bring it up to the Suzuki, but that will take some effort and a better performance fromTata motors.