Mumbai, Mar 23 (ANI): Tata Motor's much awaited people's car, 'Nano' was commercially launched here on Monday with a promise to fulfil the expectations of the people under some circumstances.
The launch of the world's cheapest car could dramatically change the auto market in the world's second most populous nation.
The Nano debuted in January 2008 and was expected to be on sale last year, but its arrival was delayed by a dispute over the land where a purpose-built facility was to be located.
"We are able to put the product before the public today and launch it publicly. We have done this in a good nine months before the new plant in Gujarat would come on stream because we felt that we needed to get the product in to the market. There had been a great deal of expectations and so we have fulfilled this under some circumstances,' said Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Group.
Tata said the Nano aimed to give people the chance to shift from a bike to car ownership.
"We hope that on a day like this we will usher in a new form of transport. It was never conceived of its being the cheapest car. It was conceived of its being a car that would give the people an opportunity to own a car that had not been within their reach before," he said.
The ex-factory price is Rs. 1,00,000 ($1,975), but to drive one out of the showroom, customers will have to add dealer charges and taxes, taking the on-the-road price up to Rs. 1,30,000. Buyers can also pay for extras things such as air conditioning.
Dealers don't expect the Nano to be available before the mid-year. Bookings only start in the second week of April, and Tata Motors is expected to take time to make allotments and deliveries.
Large-scale production has been delayed by the relocation row that shifted production to Gujarat from West Bengal last year. As a stop-gap arrangement, Nano will be rolled out from Tata Motors' existing car factories in Pune and Pantnagar.
Analysts estimate that only 50,000 cars will be available in the first year until the 2,50,000 capacity unit in Gujarat comes on stream. (ANI)