Pantnagar's Tata facility we hear, is bustling with activity these days. Reports suggest that the Tata Nano is ready and likely to hit the dealer networks by the end of February 2009. Both the “base” model and the “fully loaded” model will be available at dealer showrooms mid-to late February.
Tata Motors is keen to drive the Nano into showrooms for potential customers to look at, and get a feel of the car, which is expected to be a volume grosser for the company eventually.
Tata Motors, said that it plans to spend Rs.2,246 crore ($453 million) to start production of its Nano car in the western state of Gujarat, doubling its investment in its low-end, highly efficient vehicle. With a deadline to meet, Tata seems to have more good news! The company is strongly supported by the government which is letting it buy the land in eight yearly installments, beginning after the production starts.
According to the new timeline prepared for the Nano, Tata Motors expects the existing plants to produce 7000 vehicles by the end of March. The production is expected to be scaled up to 80,000 over the next year. If the new factory opens as scheduled in the first quarter of the 2010-2011 fiscal year, Tata said it will reach its original full-scale annual production target of 150,000 Nanos.
The car was originally planned to be launched in October 2008 but was delayed due to the protests in Singur(where the car was originally meant to be manufactured). Now the company has shifted its based to Sanand in Gujarat (under construction) but the current Nano manufactuting and assembly takes place at Pantnagar, on a temporary basis.
Tata is also said to be working on a car which will be positioned between the Nano and the Indica. Sources also tell us that the Nano's platform will be used to bring out many other cars in the future. He also added that electric, diesel and hybrid variants of the Nano are in the works.
IAB Comment- It's been more than a year now since the little car was shown to us all at the Delhi Auto Expo, and quite surely the Nano hasn't lost even a small bit of the immense expectation that surrounded it back then. We need to hang on for less than a month before we can see the car near our homes. The big question is for how long will Tata hold the 1-lakh price tag?
We'll keep you updated on the official launch of the car. We're informed that Mr.Tata is the person who is likely to announce the variants and the price of the Tata Nano.
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