The Tata Nano has one eye crying and one beaming with joy. Let us explain.
In Nepal -
Tata Motors and Sipradi Trading, the official distributor for the Nano had started a country-wide rally, called ‘Nano Yatra Nepal’, on June 1 from Kathmandu. The Nano covered a distance of 40,000 km visiting in excess of 15 landmark destinations. The Yatra gave Nepal the first look at the little car that had already been doing rounds around the world using newspapers and internet for good and bad reasons. The Nanos returned to Kathmandu after completing the journey with a recorded mileage of 20.3 kmpl, the best for any petrol car in Nepal in that segment. The Nano costs three times what India pays due to their country's lofty excise duties.
In Sri Lanka -
The Tata Nano has made some friends and a lot of foes in Sri Lanka. A local cab company registered 45 units of the Nano for use as taxis. The company, which runs under the name NanoCab plans to add 200 more Nanos to its fleet by the end of 2011. This has not gone down well with three-wheeler operators, using Bajaj autorickshaws, as the Nano's air-conditioned travel is offered at only a slight premium over the three-wheeler's fare.
People also want to be seen in Nano instead of an auto that is exposed to the elements. Compared to an auto-rickshaw, the Tata Nano is truly jaw dropping. An organization representing the three-wheeled taxi is protesting as Nanocab is eating into its business and threatening their livelihoods. They will not allow Nanocab stands to be setup in Sri Lanka as they claim that the roads belong to them.
Back in India, Tata is trying different strategies to up sales and the catalyst for change is the diesel Nano whose fuel efficiency is pegged at 40kmpl, according to recent media reports. But the question is when will the twin cylinder diesel Nano come?
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