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Small Car Nano a Loss-making Product in Highly Price-sensitive Market, says Tata Motors

As there is no line of sight to profitability for the Nano, any turnaround strategy for the company requires to shut it down

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Tata Motors
Cyrus Pallonji Mistry. Flickr
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Mumbai, November 04, 2016: Echoing Tata Sons’ ousted Chairman Cyrus P. Mistry, Tata Motors on Friday said its Nano small car has been “a loss-making product” in the highly price-sensitive market, coupled with low volumes.

Mistry had earlier stated that “as there is no line of sight to profitability for the Nano, any turnaround strategy for the company requires to shut it down.”

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“Considering the attention and excitement it created, project investments were set up for capacities for around 2,50,000 cars per annum. However, unfortunately, and due to combination of several factors, including project delays due to change in location of the factory, and the perception of being a ‘low priced’ car, the volumes initially anticipated did not materialise and utilisation of capacities are significantly lower,” said the car maker responding to clarifications sought by BSE.

In a highly price-sensitive segment of the market, coupled with low volumes, it has been a loss making product, it added.

Mistry had also alleged that the Nano product development concept called “for a car below Rs 1 lakh, but the costs were always above this”. “This product has consistently lost money, peaking at Rs 1,000 crore,” he said.

Tata Motors
A Nano car on display. Wikimedia

The company further said that a major part of the investments in the factory are “capable of being utilised for other products” as is “evident from the production of company’s Tiago cars” in the same factory.

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“As far as development cost and investments in Nano specific dies and toolings are concerned, these have significantly written off, in line with the accounting policies, over the last several years,” the filing said.

Mistry had also pointed out that challenge in shutting down Nano is that it would “stop the supply of the Nano gliders to an entity that makes electric cars and in which Mr. Tata has stake”.

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Responding to that, the company said, “We would like to clarify that the matter is in a preliminary exploratory stage and no arrangement for supply of gliders has been conducted.”

The car maker said that it got approval of the board for its future passenger vehicle product and business strategy, which envisages refocusing its strategy on growing and attractive segments of the passenger vehicle market in terms of volumes and profitability, and “aligning with the changing and enhanced expectations of the consumers regarding contents and features”.

The company also said that it would pursue the refocused long-term strategy. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google Along with Other SSocial Media Giants will Face The Lawmakers, Wikimedia Commons
Google Along with Other SSocial Media Giants will Face The Lawmakers, Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?