Among Nano buyers in Bangalore, women constitute a large share

Among Nano buyers in Bangalore, women constitute a large share

According to a Tata Motors’ study, 22 per cent of Nano buyers in Bangalore are women against Nano’s national average of around 10 per cent. Even more striking: women buyers account for only 2 per cent of the all cars sold in the country.

Though the Tata Motors officials could not pinpoint the exact reasons for such an unusually large percentage of women buying Nano, they still think that the tech-savvy nature of Bangaloreans and their need to be independently mobile may be the reasons.

“I think young girls prefer Nano more than other cars because it is extremely convenient to drive, cost of ownership is low and its stylish look makes a fashion statement too,” said Tata Motors Head (Nano Product Group) Delna Avari. 

Women driving Nano in the City also corroborated her statement. Though Nano is India’s cheapest and smallest car, its 624 cc 2 cylinder MPFI engine (fitted at the rear of the car) has a maximum engine power of 35 PS @ 5250 rpm and a maximum torque of 48 NM @ 3000 rpm.

The well tuned-engine is not only good enough for the City driving it can climb steep roads at ease. Said Jalaja K, a 27-year-old software engineer and one of the many women buyers of Nano in the City,

“I recently went to Chamundi Hills in Mysore and drove effortlessly up the steep road in my Nano.” She also found that Nano was quite peppy on the highway as she drove between Bangalore and Chennai a few times. Jalaja bought a Nano because she found it to be the most affordable car without stretching her financial obligations.

Another young girl of 26, Nandini J, bought a Nano, her first car, when she wanted to upgrade from a two wheeler. “Since driving a car is always much safer than riding a bike, I was thinking of buying a car for a long time now. Nano’s affordable price and low running cost per kilometer made me go fo it,” said Nandini, an executive in a foreign bank.

“I am very happy and my parents are assured that I will reach home safely even if I am late at work or it rains heavily.” She also felt proud to buy a Nano which is entirely made by an Indian company and with the Tata brand name behind it.

Reasons for buying a Nano may vary from person to person, but Avari of Tata Motors feels that it is the total package of good quality, contemporary styling & technology, lower price, higher mileage, easy finance and wide dealer network, which is the reason behind Nano’s acceptance by the customers. The company has already sold more than 1,26,000 cars in the last 26 months, she pointed out. “We are positioning Nano as a family car that brings happiness to everyone. Though it is being bought primarily by the youth segment, for us customers of ages are the target buyers,” she said.

Hit by the slowdown
Since most Nano customers are from the middle and upper-middle class of the society, steady increase in petrol prices and steep rise in interest cost has impacted its demand more than other cars. In the first five months (April-August 2011) of the financial year, Nano sales at 26,441 was 17 per cent lower than 31,882 in the same period previous year. The country’s largest car maker, Maruti Suzuki, also saw a decline in sales of its compact cars by 4 per cent in the same period.

To boost sales, Tata Motors has recently taken several initiatives. It now has a limited-period offer that allows one to buy a Nano by making a down payment of only Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000. The rest can be paid at a high tenure financing (up to 60 months) via special arrangements made with preferred financiers like Tata Motors Finance, SBI and HDFC Bank.

The company has also aggressively widened its dealer network to reach out to the prospective customers across the country. Presently, Tata Motors’ passenger car business has 619 odd regular sales outlets (of its 255 odd dealerships) with an overwhelming majority of these outlets in large cities and towns.

So, as a first step to expanding availability, the business has set up, tied to the dealerships, special Nano access points (as of now about 210 across the country) where customers can experience, test-drive or test-ride the car. These Access Points have come up in areas adjacent to cities/towns, where dealerships are based.

Yet in another effort to reach out to more number of customers, Tata Motors is making Nano available in hundreds of tier-III tier-IV small towns, across the country. “We are now in the process of establishing exclusive dealerships for Nano in towns, with less than 5,00,000 population. These dealerships will both sell and service the cars,” said Avari. The plan is to set up about 300 such exclusive Nano dealerships by March 2012. 

The company also claimed that the post-purchase customer satisfaction studies with Nano owners indicated that over 90 per cent are satisfied or very satisfied with the car, because of it being ‘small yet spacious’.

The study also found that factors like performance, maneuverability, durability, mileage, safety and pricing scored high points from the users. In terms of profile, it was noticed that the cars were adopted both in urban and semi-urban areas, by single people or those with families.

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