At the Annual General Meeting of Tata Motors, reports say Ratan Tata reinstated what he said at the Mumbai launch on 23rd March. The U.S-spec version of the Tata Nano will travel American roads after satisfying all the safety and environmental requirements in two years time.
The intentions of the salt-to-software conglomerate in Thailand is not very different. Tata plans to set up a large scale production plant in Thailand and use it as a base to manufacture the Nano for ASEAN countries. The dates have not been confirmed, but it could happen in the next three years.
Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) Secretary General Atchaka Brimble -
They (Tata Motors) have plans to introduce Tata Nano in future (in Thailand) for the economic segment of the market and probably plan to expand by taking it to neighbouring countries in ASEAN
Tata Nano variants -
A 2-door version (remember the tailgate is bonded to the frame) is on the cards with a bigger engine, that should be capable of good speeds and acceleration figures, is definite. A station wagon like the Mini Clubman is also possible and a convertible version is on the list of probables in the European slate.
As per the information we received earlier, battery powered Nanos have made considerable advancements in the testing stage, while the hybrid Nano is in the initial stages of its development. Our sources tell us Tata engineers is tweaking MDI's compressed air technology to suit the Nano, and a Nano pickup truck or a carry van based on its platform would employ it.
The Automatic transmission model is near production-ready and will hit Indian showrooms next year, in time for the European markets.
The more powerful European version might use a 3-cylinder petrol engine displacing close to a liter, good for something near to 70 bhp, which is twice the power of the existing car. There could be two version of diesel engines- a 690cc naturally aspirated engine and a bigger 800cc engine with CRDI and a turbocharger supplied by the German Engineering house FEV. If made, this would be the smallest diesel engine with CRDI technology surpassing the Smart Fortwo's 900cc engine.
What Tata is attempting with the Nano
Tata Motors could make something that Fiat did in 2005. They made a car that is not age, gender or requirement specific, but could be liked by all. By manufacturing the Fiat 500, Fiat radiated a different kind of energy, and people don't remember its troubled times anymore.
What Ratan Tata is trying to do is similar. By introducing the world's cheapest car with all the region specific requisites and making it available to everyone, his objective is to wipe out the people's believes and perceptions of Indian car companies and Tata's very own truck-maker brand image.