The Tata Nano—the world's cheapest car when introduced, isn't so cheap anymore. But when initially launched, there were a few things done, or rather not done to keep the cost low.
Also, the car offers so much more for its size. At present, the Nano is available with air conditioning, power steering, power windows and alloy wheels even.
Let's take a look at 15 facts about the Tata Nano. Some of them were intended to just keep the cost low, but some focused on giving more with less.
The Tata Nano, when launched initially, did not even have power steering. Not even the top variant. The latest ones though, do get an electric assisted power steering.
Basic creature comforts like air conditioning, power windows and a music system were also not available in the Nano Standard variant.
In 2009, Guinness Book of World Records recognized the Tata Nano as the world's cheapest production car.
Although when measured bumper to bumper, the Nano is smaller than a Maruti 800, but offers much more space on the inside.
The Nano has only three bolts holding each wheel, when compared to other cars which have four or five bolts holding each wheel.
The boot of the Nano cannot be opened. This is sealed due to the fact that an open/close mechanism will add to the cost of the vehicle. Future Nano's will be offered with an openable boot.
The Tata Nano has to be fueled from the front, by lifting open the bonnet of the car. This too was done as a cost cutting measure instead of adding extra locks.
The spare wheel of the car, sits under the front bonnet, instead of the rear or under the car like how other vehicles have it.
Power window switches are in the front, between the driver and passenger seats. This is yet another cost cutting measure by Tata Motors. Extra switches, extra cost.
The Tata Nano has a ground clearance of 180 mm. That is the same as a Mahindra Bolero or a Scorpio!
The Nano has a centre mounted console which makes it easy to just change the side of the steering wheel, depending on which market the car is being exported to. Another cost cutting method.
Tata Motors has applied for as many as 34 patents for the technology and innovations used in the Nano.
The Tata Nano is no longer being sold or marketed as the ‘World's Cheapest Car'.
In many places, instead of welding, plastic and adhesives have been used to keep the cost of the car low. Welding is expensive.
The word ‘Nano' means small in Gujarati. Nano Technology was also another source for the name.