Tata puts sausage and sizzle into its new city car

This is another post from Prasad, our new partner in Bangalore. Nice to get some fresh brand stories from India 🙂

We wrote a few weeks back about Tata's struggle to sell its Nano as just a low-priced car, in our post "When a price tag became a price trap". Well, Tata seems to have addressed the concerns we raised with the new Pixel concept car, which was unveiled at the Geneva motor show this week.

Unlike the Nano, which was positioned strongly on price, the Pixel seems to have been conceived and designed as the ultimate compact city-car for Europe.

Screen shot 2011-03-04 at 14.59.43
What’s special about the Pixel? Its a great combination of product "sausage" and "emotional" sizzle.

  • A 4-seater car that can actually seat 4 adults comfortably
  • Very low turning radius of 2.6m for high manoeuvrability and parking in tight spaces
  • Scissor doors allows entry and exit, even in tight spaces
  • Excellent all-round visibility with its large glass-area
  • Youthful and futuristic he styling is
  • Tuned up performance to be more lively and responsive
  • Integrated infotainment system

While the Pixel has been designed from the Nano platform, the new car is no longer just small and cheap, its smaller and better. Rather than half the quality for half the price, its a new propostion:

    • The focus is on the virtues of small rather than price: a stylish compact for new age urban drivers.
    • This clear focus has helped them design every element of the car to one central theme.
    • The targeting of the car as a European City car also allows them to enter India at an appropriate time as a premium, international brand. This will directly address the status needs that Nano had failed on.
    • And the hygiene areas of power, comfort and convenience which had been severely compromised in the Nano, have been brought up to industry standards.

    Tata has been silent on the price. While it would never be as low as the Nano, it might still be very competitively priced with other city-cars.

    So while it may not set the Indian market afire by converting all two-wheelers overnight (the original Nano vision), it would definitely be a discontinuity in the market that will accelerate the market growth.