Updated: Tata Nano Launched in India

As it promised, Indian car manufacturer Tata Motors announced yesterday it will launch the lower than low cost vehicle on the Indian market sometimes today, reported. Having an estimated price of only 100,000 rupees or $2,050 (for the stripped down version), the Nano is hoped to be the lifeline for the Indian manufacturer.

Tata Nano will be sold in three trim levels: Nano Standard (three colour options, single-tone seats, and fold-down rear seat), Nano CX (five colour options, with heating and air-conditioning (HVAC), two-tone seats, parcel shelf, booster-assisted brakes, fold-down rear seat with nap rest) and Nano LX (three premium colours, fog lamps, electronic trip meter, cup holder in front console, mobile charger point, and rear spoiler, in addition to the options featured on the CX version). All Nano versions will benefit from a 18 months or 24,000 km.

Tata Nano is will be available through a booking process, which starts from April 9th 2009 and ends on April 25th. Booking forms are available at Tata Motors Passenger Car dealerships, State Bank of India and its branches, its subsidiaries and associates, other preferred financiers, and outlets of Westside, Croma, ‘World of Titan’ and Tata Indicom exclusive stores. Customers will have to pay a 300 rupees fee ($6) to be able to fill the form.

The launch for comes some six month later than its original scheduled date. Even if the company hopes buyers will flock to the dealerships to buy the car, Tata is still having problems with the manufacturing process, as it is in process of relocating its West Bengal plant to the state of Gujarat.

The measure was forced upon the manufacturer by violent protests from farmers and opposition political party leaders over land. This in turn will lead to limited production figures, as the car will be arriving from other Tata plants for as long as a year, the time required to relocate the West Bengal plant.

As we said, Tata Motors hopes the Nano to be the basis for the company's survival. Even if official estimated production figures have not been released, anylists quoted by the aforementioned source say it is unlikely for the manufacturer to be able to build more than 50,000 units by the end of the year.

Production issues aside, Nano would have been a success on the Indian market even in the absence of the current economic crisis. The car is cheap, it fulfills the basic motorist's needs and will most surely become a replacement for the everyday scooter or moped seen on Indian roads.

But that's about it for the Nano. Even if the company has plans to bring it to Europe (the US is out of the question), we doubt this will be a success on the old continent.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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