This report will describe briefly about the company, Tata motors and their sustainable innovative result, the world’s cheapest car Nano. (Tata motors, 2013) Tata Motors being the largest Indian automobile manufacturer, had revenues of INR 1,65,654 crores (USD 32.5 billion) in 2011-12. They have been the leading manufacturers of commercial vehicles. They also have award-winning products in the compact, midsize car and utility vehicle segments. They are also among the world’s top manufacturers of buses and trucks. The company was established in 1945, they do business in all states of India. Over 75,00,000 Tata vehicles are on Indian roads, the first being, launched in 1954. Listed in the New York Stock Exchange (September 2004), the company emerged as an international player. They started establishing their name internationally through exports, in 1961. They have operations in many different countries through associate companies, acquisitions and subsidiaries. The most famous being, Jaguar Land Rover, acquired in 2008.
The SIR Nano was launched in January 2008. When we look at the history of innovation, we see that great innovators brought the goods enjoyed by the elite to the masses. The phrase stands true for Nano. Nano is the world’s cheapest car, targeted at the lower middle class of India but attracting people from all classes. The project took off under the vision of the company head, Ratan Tata, that, a family of four that can afford a two-wheeler, should be able to afford a car, which is much safer to use. In 2009, the first Nano rolled on the road to be part of history. The report describes the innovation management of Tata Motors with respect to their SIR, The People’s car, Nano. TATA MOTORS’ INNOVATION MANAGEMENT
The search for ideas for developing Nano had the main driving factor, the fixed price of INR 100,000. It had to be engineered from the bottom up. This gave the company the opportunity to develop a less expensive product by applying new skills of designing and cost reduction. The cost reductions had to be done by smart designing rather than cutting out the essentials. (Mahadevan B., 2009) Nano’s development team had to meet three requirements for the new vehicle, it had to be (i) Less expensive (ii) Adhere to regulatory requirements and (iii) fuel efficient. (Freiberg Kevin et al., 2011) The final cost was set in stone as was the safety of the car. Nano, not only had to meet the regulatory norms but surpass them. They, could have added doors to golf carts and added bigger gasoline engines, the vehicles could have adhered to safety norms and lower emissions norms, but that’s not the way Tata does it.
The selection process was also governed by the fixed price of the car, Nano. (Tellis Gerard J., 2012) Nano has no radio, air-conditioning, power assisted steering and even power windows. To further reduce costs, engineers reduced the weight of the car, to cut material costs. Aluminum parts replaced steel parts and plastics replaced sheet metal. Dashboard, panel and frame, follow a click mechanism thus eliminating screws and nuts. The chairman Mr. Ratan Tata himself suggested using a single windshield wiper instead of two thus reducing costs and giving the car an aesthetic appeal. The low cost of Nano not only comes from the exclusion of luxuries but also usage of lighter components like door handles, engine components etc. Nano uses a much smaller wheelbase yet allowing for 15% more space. Three bolts instead of four hold the wheels. (Mahadevan B., 2009) The maker of Rack and pinion steering system, Rane Group, worked towards reducing the weight of the materials, e.g. the steel tube of the steering replaced the steel rod. The, two piece product was redesigned into one piece to further reduce costs. For the components and systems designed by them, suppliers with strong process in place were chosen, as they could give valuable suggestions and...
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