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Tata sells 'happiness guarantee'

2010-12-09 13:55

SALES BOOST NEEDED: Not even the tag "world's cheapest car" is helping Tata sell its Nano mini car.

Tata, the Indian maker of the Nano," the world's cheapest new car", is offering a "happiness guarantee" in an attempt to boost flagging sales.

The automaker said potential buyers and existing owners would be given a free four-year or 60 000km warranty after figures revealed only  509 Nanos were sold in November, the lowest since the car was launched in July 2009 and following free safety upgrades because around half a dozen of the cars caught fire.

The dismal figures marked the fourth consecutive month of falling sales of the snub-nosed car from a high of 9000 in July, 2010. A basic model of the Nano costs the equivalent of about $2500.

"By dint of its robust design and state-of-the-art components, the Tata Nano provides assured reliability, durability and safety," the company said as it announced the "Tata Nano Happiness Guarantee".

The Nano has been pitched as "the people's car" for India's aspiring middle class, many of whom use motorcycles but want to upgrade to four wheels.

Analysts attributed the low sales to concerns about safety, a lack of finance and operational hiccups after production shifted to a new plant.

More than 71 300 Nanos have been sold.
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