Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Topless Tata Nanos at Sanand Plant!

I am just back from a factory tour of Tata Motors plant in Sanand, Gujarath under #TheChosenOnes initiative. More about the program, the factory and other experience in a separate post. First, a quick post on some topless Nanos we spotted in the factory campus.

We spotted these topless Tata Nanos at Sanand- they were instant attraction to everyone- there were many of them. These topless Nanos are not for commercial launch, they were simply customized for in-plant use, to ferry guests and officials around the 1100 acre large Sanand campus.
All these were made out of older generation LX models, not the recent Twist or GenXNano. We saw many of these.
The modified topless cars are very nice to have a fun ride. As I published photos of these cars on twitter and facebook, comments flew in that Tata should launch these topless Nanos commercially. It saves some materials used for roof etc so cost should be low, it adds lots of fashion statement, so many might buy it for show off, so why not?
Commercial launch of these topless Nanos may sound like a smart idea, but let us take a look why such an idea may not be viable.

1. Need for hardened chassis: Cutting the roof off means car’s structural strength is compromised. Earlier front and rear were connected at two places- the chassis in the bottom and roof on the top. But now chassis has to support it fully. This might mean extra reinforcements or making new stronger chassis, which might negate any cost saving achieved by not needing a roof.

2. Wind tunnel testing goes for a toss: Wind tunnel testing done for regular car won’t hold good for a topless version of same model. Topless car may not be stable at high winds, which can topple the car.

3. Safety: Without a roof, topless Nano is almost like a two wheeler with 2 doors. In case of an accident, risk to life is much more. If some accidents happen, negative PR from it could outweigh any publicity got from this topless version and can also affect sales of normal Nano models. 

4. Topless cars are not ideal for India, because of hot temperature and high level of dirt, theft etc. Such topless car won’t be practical for everyday usage and can be used only once a while for show off. So sales will be very poor. Keeping them clean, protecting from rain etc will also be a major challenge.
So because of above reasons, the topless budget cars fine for simple use in controlled areas like a plant, but can’t be hitting roads anytime soon. Let me know your thoughts!

Also check out the Tata Nano with Sunroof 


Sri Kri said...

Nice review.Thanks for sharing.

rupam sarma said...

Nice to see Topless Tata Nanos, Thanks for your post & photos.

njoy every moment said...

I would def buy this if they launch, they look so cute

May be redesigning can take care of few parameters that you suggested.

It was an awesome experience at the Sanand plant😊😊

Roohi Bhatnagar said...

No doubt they look cute, but as you have not made for India even if rest of the factors are addressed :) you guys had gala time over there and I can see Tata has leveraged the whole campaign well and better than others through this visit to plant.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Sri Kri : Thanks

@Rupam: You're welcome

@NEM: May be. redesign to make the convertible Nano will be expensive. There won't be volume of sale to keep costs in check

What is your full name?

@Roohi: Yes, visiting the cars in making was a whole new experience

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing the pics. i was telling my wife to get the customized version of Nano without roof but as say it is difficult to maintain such points in india. Like indians are use to but inexpensive things most of them may go with the customized version also. Tata should go for it with the convertible model like other car makers use to do. dont worry about increase in price indians know very well where and how to spend their hard earning. this may be for style statement.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Anon- thanks for your comment. Besides price, safety also is an issue.