Auto News

AutoGuide News Blog


The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Dec 27 2011, 12:00 PM

The Tata Nano was supposed to be a cheap, simple car built for the people, but so far it has caused nothing but problems for the Indian automaker.

First it was an electrical issue that caused the Nano to catch fire which was the catalyst for a recall of 70,000 Nano’s. Now a faulty starter motor that the manufacturer says needs to be replaced is plauging the Nano.

Tata says that this recall is not actually a recall at all, as it was not spurred by customer complaints, but rather by Tata engineers designing a better starter which they feel all early model Nano’s should utilize. The recall will affect over 140,000 vehicles and is the largest recall in Tata’s history.

 |  Nov 29 2011, 12:00 PM

tatananonewad.jpg

The world’s least expensive car, the Tata Nano’s original purpose in design was to be a modern Ford Model-T, mobilizing millions of families in India.

Despite the Nano’s noble intentions, only 1,200 examples were sold in the month of September when initial projections expected a rather optimistic 20,000 vehicles per month. A new approach may be the remedy and that’s exactly what Tata hopes to achieve with its new Nano commercial.

Targeting India’s young, active, and likable college students, the ad features American idioms sprinkled throughout that frankly sound a little contrived.

The Nano boasts a passenger space increase of 21 percent. Tata also shows off the Nano’s acceleration (good for passing trucks on Indian highways) as well as ride quality and ground clearance capable of fording a spring creek. The Nano’s A/C is so strong that one buddy decides to hibernate, allowing everyone else to enjoy a popular college pastime that involves black markers and camera phones. Finally, the twisty and mountainous roads to the weekend getaway help to demonstrate Nano’s best-in-India 25 km/liter petrol mileage as well as its short turning radius.

See the commercial for yourself after the jump

Continue Reading…

 |  Nov 22 2011, 7:00 AM

The world’s cheapest vehicle has just gotten a whole lot (little bit?) better, with Tata announcing a batch of upgrades for their economical Nano. The 624-cc engine now makes a ferocious 37.5-hp, giving it a max speed of 65-mph.

In addition to the performance increase, the Nano also got its suspension reworked which included a new anti-roll bar in the front and a redesigned steering mechanism. The biggest improvement though is that the Nano Standard now comes with power-assisted brakes. Prior to this refresh, power-assisted brakes were only offered on some of Nano’s more luxurious models.

On the inside, buyers have a trio of colors to choose from for interior trim – beige, black and gray while the exterior colors have expanded to a portfolio of 10 choices. Those 10 colors are worth mentioning just for their names: Pearl White, Rouge Red, Aqua Blue, Neon Rush, Serene White, Meteor Silver, Mojito Green, Papaya Orange, Sunshine Yellow and Champagne Gold.

Hopefully these will help increase Tata’s Nano sales. They originally projected (or rather, hoped) to sell around 20,000 to 25,000 vehicles a month but saw only 1,200 leave dealer lots in September. Maybe it’s not paying off to be the world’s cheapest vehicle.

 |  Mar 03 2011, 2:44 PM

Tata has been trying to dip its toe into the wild, wacky world of the European automobile market ever since they released their $2,500 Nano supermini. They made an attempt at appeasing discerning European customers with the Nano Europa, an “upscale” Nano with alloy wheels, power steering, and an extra cylinder (bringing the total to three).

But the Pixel, shown at Geneva, is Tata’s most dedicated effort yet. A slick, white little egg, the Pixel is only 10 feet long but can still seat four, who enter through upward-opening scissor doors. The small size enables the Pixel to turn within its own space – it rotates the rear wheels in separate directions, thanks to what Tata calls a “Zero Turn toroidal traction-drive Infinitely Variable Transmission,” whatever that means. Result: its manuverability in parking is perfectly matched for the city streets of Europe.

Inside, the Pixel features smartphone connectivity through “My Tata Connect,” which allows the driver to control the car’s functions from his phone. And the driver will be in control of a 1.2-liter three-cylinder turbodiesel engine that is expected to return more than 60 miles per gallon.

If Tata is serious about selling the Nano in Europe, and eventually America, then the Pixel indicates the direction they’re planning to take their next small car.

[Sources: Autoblog, Tata]

 |  Dec 28 2010, 1:04 PM

There is such a thing of having too much of a good thing. Like gold… especially when it is on a Tata Nano. The most basic car on the road just got pimped to celebrate the 5,000th anniversary of Indian jewelry.

Tata Group, the company that makes the Nano, employed Titan, one of its subsidiaries, to make the very first pure gold jewelry car which will be launched in April/May 2011 under the name Goldplus Nano. The campaign to promote the flashy ride started in November when Tata asked the public to send in designs. Thirteen designs came in and the winner was announced December 24th.

The winning design will be immortalized on the Nano and will be made out of pure gold at the Titan manufacturing plant in Hosur, Bangalore. The contests purposed was to drum up positive attention for the car, which saw sagging sales in the latter part of 2010.

[Source: International Business Times]

 |  Mar 03 2010, 11:25 AM

tata-nano-ev-05.jpg

Tata unveiled a new electric version of its Nano at the Geneva Auto Show. The Nano EV joins the Indica Vista EV in Tata’s electric line-up.

The Nano EV will use the same super polymer lithium-ion battery as the Indica Vista EV. The electric version of the world’s least expensive automobile has a range of 99.4 miles, short of the Indica Vista EV’s 124-mile range, which is unusual considering the Indica Vista is a larger vehicle.

The Tata Nano EV will make its way to European markets in 2010 with expansion to other markets coming later.

Gallery: Tata Nano EV

tata-nano-ev-07.jpgtata-nano-ev-01.jpgtata-nano-ev-04.jpgtata-nano-ev-03.jpgtata-nano-ev-06.jpgtata-nano-ev-02.jpg

 |  Jun 05 2009, 1:05 PM

IMG_5010.JPG

Indian automaker Tata has confirmed that it will bring the Nano to the U.S. in the next three years. The Nano, launched officially several months ago in India, holds the title of being the world’s cheapest car with base models priced at just $2,000.

David Good, a U.S. representative for the Indian automaker, which also owns Jaguar and Land Rover, confirmed statements made by company CEO Ratan Tata at Cornell University earlier this week.

“It might be two years and six months,” Good said in an interview with Automotive News.

Powered by a 624cc 2-cylinder engine that makes just 35hp, the Nano comes with a 4-speed gearbox with full power available at 5250 rpm and full torque (35 ft-lbs) on tap at 3000 rpm. Tata claims an average  fuel-economy rating of 55.5 mpg according to the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), giving it the highest rating of any gasoline car in India.

The Nano is also tiny, measuring just 10.2-feet long, by 4.9-feet wide and 5.3-feet high.

The Nano “will meet all emissions and crash standards,” Tata said. The current model for India features a reinforced passenger compartment, crumple zones, intrusion resistant doors, as well as the mandatory seat belts.

Tata also plans to bring a version of the Nano to Europe in 2011.

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Mar 25 2009, 12:51 PM

3_4_Front_view01.jpg

Well, here’s an exciting follow-up to yesterday’s story about the launch of the new Tata Nano in India; Tata is looking to bring the $2,000 Nano to the U.S.

According to a report in the Financial Times, Tata boss Ratan Tata is hoping to take advantage of the worldwide recession by bringing affordable (and we mean REALLY affordable) cars to markets worldwide, including North America.

Tata told the Times that this decision is a serious one and that no one at the company is taking the possibility of expansion into the U.S. lightly. “The US is very unforgiving of mistakes,” he said.

As for meeting strict U.S. emissions and safety requirements, that actually shouldn’t be too difficult as Tata has already announced that it plans to sell the Nano in Europe in 2011.

That year could also be the first year of U.S. Nano sales.

As for the car itself, the Nano is powered by a 624cc 2-cylinder engine that makes just 35hp and 35 ft-lbs of torque. Tata claims an average  fuel-economy rating of 55.5 mpg according to the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), giving it the highest rating of any gasoline car in India.

The car is tiny, just 10.2-feet long, 4.9-feet wide and 5.3-feet high, giving it the smallest dimensions of any vehicle on the road in India. It is, however, 21 percent more spacious inside than the current smallest car.

Despite the size, Tata insists the Nano is very safe due to a reinforced passenger compartment, crumple zones, intrusion resistant doors, as well as the mandatory seat belts. The Nano exceeds all safety requirements in India and even passes a roll-over test and offset impact test which are not required.

Tata did not release any info on what U.S. pricing would be, but it is expected to be significantly higher than the base $2,000 price, as base models in India come without heat or air conditioning.

[Source: FinancialTimes]

Tata Nano Goes On Sale In India For Just $2,000

Base models come without heat or air conditioning

 |  Mar 24 2009, 11:44 AM

Nano_Basic_and_Luxury.jpg

Yesterday in Mumbai, India Tata Motors officially launched its revolutionary Nano micro-car. Powered by a 624cc 2-cylinder engine that makes just 35hp, the Nano will be offered in three trims levels with a starting price of just $2,000.

The Nano comes with a 4-speed gearbox with full power available at 5250 rpm and full torque (35 ft-lbs) on tap at 3000 rpm. Tata claims an average  fuel-economy rating of 55.5 mpg according to the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), giving it the highest rating of any gasoline car in India.

The car is tiny, just 10.2-feet long, 4.9-feet wide and 5.3-feet high, giving it the smallest dimensions of any vehicle on the road in India. It is, however, 21 percent more spacious inside than the current smallest car.

Despite the size, Tata insists the Nano is very safe due to a reinforced passenger compartment, crumple zones, intrusion resistant doors, as well as the mandatory seat belts. The Nano exceeds all safety requirements in India and even passes a roll-over test and offset impact test which are not required.

In terms of the trim levels offered, customers can opt for either the Standard, CX or LX models. The Standard model is as bare-bones as possible, with three color options and a fold down rear seat. Upgrading to the CX model brings two additional colors as well as power-assisted brakes, heating and air conditioning (a must for most of India).

As fort the top-line LX model, it comes with everything in the CX as well as power windows, three premium paint colors, fog lights, a trip meter, a spoiler and even a cup holder.

As for a warranty, Tata gives the Nano a standard 18 month/24,000 km warranty.

“The Nano represents the spirit of breaking conventional barriers,” said Tata Chairman Mr. Ratan N. Tata. “From the drawing board to its commercial launch, the concept, development and productionisation of the car has overcome several challenges. It is to the credit of the team at Tata Motors that a car once thought impossible by the world is now a reality. I hope it will provide safe, affordable, four-wheel transportation to families who till now have not been able to own a car. We are delighted in presenting the Tata Nano to India and the world.”

There is no word on expected production numbers, but Tata is currently building a new manufacturing facility with an estimated annual output of 350,000 cars.

GALLERY: Tata Nano

Nano_Luxury_interior.jpg3_4_Front_view01.jpg3_4_Rear_view02.jpg


More on the Tata Nano after the jump:

Continue Reading…