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By 28 December 2010 10 Comments Read More →

India Watch : Tata’s gold-encrusted Nano

Keith Adams

Titan's golden Tata Nano

Titan Industries' golden Tata Nano

It’s time to jazz up the Tata Nano – and this is Titan’s take on the old idea of automotive alchemy. Literally.

The Tata Nano remains the world’s cheapest car you can buy new and starts from around £1500 in its home market of India. It’s an exercise in minimalism, with standard models equipped with little more than a steering wheel and wind-up windows. However, despite its temptingly low price, the Nano’s sales have been disappointing, amid the PR difficulties of spontaneous combustion and simple mechanical failure.

Tata Motors has recruited one of its subsidiaries, Titan Industries, to give the car a more premium appearance in the form of gold and jewels. Whether it’s more Elizabeth Duke than Asprey remains to be seen, given that these images are renderings but the whole project does seem to be a PR exercise of questionable taste.

Celebrating the 5000th anniversary of Indian jewellery, Tata Motors and Titan Industries launched a public campaign to solicit designs for a bedazzled Nano. Thirteen designs came in, with the winner you see here being chosen just a few days ago.

This conspicuous one-off will be crafted out of pure gold by Titan at its facility in Bagalore. The winning design is pictured above, with the runners up in the Gallery below.

[Source: International Business Times]

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created in 2001 and built it to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Clsssics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasable adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

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10 Comments on "India Watch : Tata’s gold-encrusted Nano"

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  1. David 3500 says:

    Is it just me, or do others think that Tata has taken some inspiration from the 2002 Rover 25 Mathew Wiliamson Art car for its Nano-based concept? The end results are simply awful and unimaginative – they do nothing to highlight anything desirable about the Nano either.

    Best leave it in India.

  2. Brian says:

    How will Tata market their small electric car in the UK from March 2011? Reviving the CityRover name might damage the Rover brand but the alternative would be to market it as a Tata – would it sell?

    Perhaps a new brand is waiting in the wings or maybe we’ll see the re-introduction of an old one.

    Any ideas?

  3. Alex Scott says:

    I quite like the look of the CityRover but, apparently, it wasn’t very well-finished. I do wonder whether Tata might give the car to Jaguar to “sort out” and then try again.

    The CityRover might look a tad dated now perhaps but it was a conservative design so it might well sell OK if it was built better. I think the car world needs some classy, well-finished small cars. This is what Rover should have been doing instead of trying to sell to the masses.


  4. Ianto says:


  5. Jemma says:

    This reminds me a little of that Rolls Royce that was made into a moving palace out India way – just a shame that they had to use a Nano…

    They’re pretty :).

  6. David 3500 says:

    Brian :How will Tata market their small electric car in the UK from March 2011? Reviving the CityRover name might damage the Rover brand but the alternative would be to market it as a Tata – would it sell?
    Perhaps a new brand is waiting in the wings or maybe we’ll see the re-introduction of an old one.
    Any ideas?

    I think the only option Tata has is to ‘swallow its pride’ and use the Tata name while emphasising its value for money appeal. Brand heritage will not be expected to enter the buying equation at this price level, while establishing the Tata name on cars that are about no frills, value for money, will pave the way for any additional new small cars that might follow.

    Some clever and imaginative advertising will also be needed to create interest with those buyers who are more aware of the existence of similar budget brands such as Kia and Dacia (the latter in central Europe).

    I believe that using the Rover or CityRover name would be an incredibly bad move as there will be those who still remember how the Rover name was mismanaged in its latter years and appeared on the poorly finished Tata Indica that was sold outside of India. Moreover, the Rover name also took the brunt of the negativity when MG Rover Group went into administration.

    Furthermore, using the Rover name on Tata’s small electric cars would do nothing for Jaguar Land Rover’s chances of ever ressurecting the marque in the future if, say, they identified the need for another premium car brand to supplement their product portfolio and particularly wanted to offer a range of cars from medium-size and upwards that were noted for being well-finished, stylish and, more importantly, aspirational to the buyer.

  7. Bajandave says:

    Jewellery doesn’t belong on cars.

  8. Marty B says:

    These special Nanos look like something Bernie and Leepu knocked up in an archway in ‘Lahndahn’.

    I also think that using the Tata name might not be a wise move over here. Anyone else remember the gawd-awful Safari and Loadbetta vans/pickups?

  9. Jonathan Carling Jonathan Carling says:

    Tata is a big, international company and owns some important businesses here. I don’t think they should be afraid of using the name on a car here, but they will have to choose carefully which area of the market they use it in. The Nano is right at the very bottom – not, perhaps, a great place to start?

  10. Magnus says:

    Ooohhh, yummy, it’d go nicely in a Chevrolet/MG showroom…

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