Mumbai, Sept 20 (TruthDive): The “world’s cheapest car” may now well be the world’s most expensive. The Tata Group on Monday unveiled a Nano car – made with gold and silver, and studded with precious stones – worth over Rs 22 crore in Mumbai. The golden Nano has been built to commemorate the 5000th year of jewellery designing in India.
A Tata Nano, which sells in showrooms for about $3,000, was covered in gold and jewellery. Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata, whose company also controls Jaguar and Land Rover, was a hand at the Tata Theatre in Mumbai to help launch the publicity stunt.
Covered in 80kg of 22 carat gold and 15kg of silver, and inlaid with 10,000 semi-precious stones and gems, the ‘bling’ version of the Nano is a one-off showpiece that will tour Tata-owned jewellery stores across the country. The car incorporates beautiful designs, made with the semi-precious stones of different colors, set on the gold and silver body of the car.
“As many as 14 techniques of jewellery making have gone behind the effort — from the intricate filigree work to the delicate and colorful meenakari work, the stunning kundan to the traditional naqashi, marking the convergence of diverse and culturally distinct jewellery making techniques from around India,” the official told.
The original Nano, which launched with a 100,000-customer waiting list in 2008 and was aimed at an emerging middle class, has seen sales plummet. In August the Mumbai-based group shipped just 1,202 units, down 88 per cent from April’s 10,012 units.
Analysts blame the fall on safety issues, poor marketing and a misunderstanding of the Indian consumer. Analysts blame the Nano’s poor safety record for the decline in sales. Several incidents of the cars spontaneously erupting into flames were widely reported, pushing Tata to offer its existing 70,000 Nano customers a safety upgrade.
However, a more fundamental issue, according to Mr. Rathore is that the car has been marketed in the wrong way from the beginning. Indians, he said, generally do not want to be known as buyers of the world’s cheapest car.
The golden Nano will not be on sale and will be retained by the Tata Group. This car might be used as a marketing tool to prop up the sagging sales of the Nano. After its glittering launch in Mumbai Monday evening, the Goldplus Nano Car will travel to all the Goldplus showrooms at 29 locations around the country.