CAN NANO EUROPA ADDRESS GLOBAL RECESSION?
Small is beautiful – and imperative – in these cash-strapped times. Is that why Tata group chairman Ratan Tata was first off the block in announcing a cheap, fuel-efficient car at last week’s Geneva Auto Show? Industry experts say small does spell success in the car sector. They have the figures to prove it. Car sales dropped by 9% in Europe last year, compared to 2007. Sales between August and December 2008 were 17% lower than in the same period in 2007. But that was overall sales figures. But at least 4% more small compact cars were sold between August and December 2008. This is why Maruti’s compact Suzuki Alto is launching in Europe this month and the Nano Europa in 2011. Could two Indian compacts, the Suzuki Alto and Nano Europa, be locked in battle for the cash-strapped European buyer? Maruti refused to be drawn, saying both were leagues apart. “We didn’t launch the Alto (new variant) with Tata in mind. The Suzuki Alto brand has been in Europe for almost two decades and has a good