Tata Motors Launches the Nano in India, Details Booking Process
23 March 2009
|The Tata Nano. Click to enlarge.|
Tata Motors held the commercial launch of the low-priced Tata Nano—the much-anticipated Rs 1-Lakh (about US$2,000) “People’s Car”. (Earlier post.) The Tata Nano is BS-III compliant and comes with an all-new 2-cylinder aluminium MPFI 624 cc petrol engine mated to a four-speed gear box and will be available in three variants. The cars will be on display across India at Tata Motors Passenger Car dealerships and other select authorized outlets from 1 April.
The Nano is also available in BS-II variants and is BS-IV ready. BS II, BS III and BS IV are the India mandatory norms for NOx, HC, CO and particulates. These norms are substantially aligned with the European norms Euro II, Euro III and Euro IV; the main difference is that the peak speed in the extra urban driving cycle is 90 km/h in India and 120 km/h in Europe.
Tata is manufacturing the Nano at the company’s Pantnagar plant in Uttarakhand in limited numbers. A new dedicated plant, at Sanand in Gujarat, will be ready in 2010 with an annualized capacity of 350,000 cars.
The three trim levels and their key features available at launch are:
Tata Nano Standard (BS II and BS III): The standard version, in three colour options, single-tone seats, and fold-down rear seat;
Tata Nano CX (BS II and BS III): In five color options, with heating and air-conditioning (HVAC), two-tone seats, parcel shelf, booster-assisted brakes, fold-down rear seat with nap rest;
Tata Nano LX: (BS III) With the features of CX plus complete fabric seats, central locking, front power windows, body coloured exteriors in three premium colours, fog lamps, electronic trip meter, cup holder in front console, mobile charger point, and rear spoiler. Many of these features are not available on current entry-level small cars in the country.
The 2-cylinder engine delivers 35 hp (26 kW) @ 5250 rpm and a torque of 48 Nm (35 lb-ft) @ 3000 rpm. The car has have a top speed of 105 km/h (65 miles) and can negotiates inclines with a 30% grade. Fuel efficiency is 23.6 km/L (55 mpg US, 4.24 L/100km), certified by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) under mandated test conditions, with CO2 emissions of 101 g/km. The warranty is for 18 months or 24,000 km, whichever is earlier.
The Tata Nano passes the roll-over test and offset impact safety tests, which are not regulated in India. It has an all sheet-metal body, reinforced passenger compartment, crumple zones, and intrusion-resistant doors.
The sales process. In view of the expected significant demand and limited production capacity initially until the Sanand plant is fully ramped up to capacity, the Tata Nano will be available through a booking mode. Tata Motors has entered into an exclusive agreement with the State Bank of India to manage the booking process.
The sale of application forms and acceptance of booking will start from 9 April 2009 until the end of day 25 April 2009. The application forms will be available at a price of Rs. 300 (US$5.95), with a range of offers from select associate Tata Group companies. The application forms will be available at more than 30,000 locations in about 1,000 cities through 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.
After collecting the forms, customers have two options. They can either pay the entire booking amount themselves or seek financing of the booking amount.
For those who seek financing, Tata Motors has entered into agreements with 15 preferred banks/NBFCs for the Tata Nano booking loan product. The booking product offered by these banks will enable a Tata Nano to be booked by paying an amount starting at Rs. 2999 (US$59). Their chosen financier will directly submit their application forms to the State Bank of India on their behalf.
Those who choose to themselves pay their entire booking amount can submit their application forms to State Bank of India through 1,350 notified branches in 850 cites, and also at Tata Motors Passenger Car dealerships, Westside and Croma outlets.
Within 60 days of the closure of bookings, Tata Motors will process and announce the allotment of 100,000 cars in the first phase of deliveries, through a computerized random selection procedure. These 100,000 allotments will be price-protected for the launch prices until delivery of the cars but the booking amounts will not bear any interest for the customers. Deliveries will commence from July 2009.
Applicants have the option to retain their booking deposit, even if they do not get allotment in the first phase. Those who choose this option will be eligible for interest on their deposit, effective from the date of announcement of allotment of the second phase, at a rate of 8.5% for retention period between one year to two year and 8.75% for a retention period of more than 2 years. Allotment of retainees will be simultaneously communicated, along with the allotment of the first 100,000 cars.
Tata Motors has entered into agreements with 15 preferred banks/NBFCs for the Tata Nano booking loan product. The preferred financial institutions are: State Bank of India, Tata Motor Finance, State Bank of Patiala, ICICI Bank, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Indore, Axis Bank, Punjab National Bank, Federal Bank, Corporation Bank, Indian Bank, and the Central Bank of India.
Posted by: Herm | 23 March 2009 at 01:42 PM
Looks like India has finally found a way to reduce their population problem.
Posted by: JosephT | 23 March 2009 at 02:37 PM
Second post, expecting more. Instant criticism of any thing that doesn't meet the stereotype.As a low cost for India or small handy personal transport, the less well off have transport needs too.
"The Tata Nano passes the roll-over test and offset impact safety tests, which are not regulated in India. It has an all sheet-metal body, reinforced passenger compartment, crumple zones, and intrusion-resistant doors."
"cup holder in front console", what more do you want.
All that paperwork might be a struggle though.
Posted by: arnold | 23 March 2009 at 04:40 PM
As we have said before the EU is twenty- thirty years behind US emissions standards and the rest of the world patterns it's standards on not current but obsolescent EU standards. India's forthcoming standards meet antique EU standards EU II and EU III that date to the late 60s and early 1970s.
The eco-loons here in America just do not recognize how far ahead of every one else that they have pushed standards and the rest of the World is not following.
In this time of trials for American automakers, they should just pause in their effort to enact more and tougher standards, that penalize our American autotmakers more than others. The presently existing standards have not fully worked their way into our air quality.
The present auto fleet takes time to turn over, in the meantine the average new car is considerably better then the older ones in the fleet. Over 60 models now arer e PZEV zero pollution models according to CARB, not even considering the electric hybrids. As these are older models are scrapped our air will continue to get better.
America already has the cleanest air in the world, in every toxic emssisions category, including non-toxic CO2. Is it perfect? No, but teh USA's air gets cleaner every year.
Most eco-loons don't know that America already sequesters more CO2 than it emmits and even absorbs some from Eurasia. They are madly trying to kill the Golden Goose by passing even more regulations, including a new CO2 regulation. We do it by having invested in the largest wilderness and park lands system in the World; where the plants absorb all that CO2 and grow luxuriantly.
Posted by: ExDemo | 23 March 2009 at 05:24 PM
This may not make it to the USA in this guise and it should be produced with some orbital combustion or other emissions compliant and more fuel efficient design for sure.
I suppose air quality is a bit subjective from the observers perspective but with so many living in the cities >50% globally, It is an important issue that wont be 'cured simply by 'cleaning up vehicles' Locally it will make a large contribution though.
There would be little incentive for emission reduction without legislation whether in India, Europe the US or Aus. On case basis each has strong points and (many) weak points.
I note Ex demo is not arguing against legislation or cleaner air, rather a closer alignment of these regulations. America's innovative efforts then see the economic advantages and rewards as due.
Consensus is a rare bird in politics.
Posted by: arnold | 23 March 2009 at 06:07 PM
You've never been to India, have you? This vehicle is an improvement over what you see on their roads. Rickshaws, motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians, and heavy diesel spewing trucks all share the road.
Posted by: Giant | 23 March 2009 at 06:36 PM
America's "tougher standards" do not penalize your American autotmakers more than others.
The simple fact is any automaker, american or otherwise, that wants to sell their cars in America has to meet those american standards or pay a penalty. And the American autotmakers have factories around the world that make cars that meet standards from around the world; cars that can only be sold outside of North America.
Posted by: ai_vin | 23 March 2009 at 07:32 PM
Ya gotta love it.
This sets entirely new standards for homely, not ugly homely; cute homely. Except the wheels are too small.
Makes it look like a Pontiac Aztek - sorry.
But the wheels give Nano that same built-in anti-theft protection.
$2000 - how can they do that, maybe they can't - maybe this first 100,000 cars breaks even, starts volume going and pulls in more investors.
When capacity arrives in 2010, they might be $4000; even that's not bad.
When, if ever, will they become compliant and importable to the US ?
A $5k car would sell, I think; I mean to real people.
What did Yugo's first sell for ? $4k? That equals about $8k.
Posted by: ToppaTom | 23 March 2009 at 08:29 PM
I have been to India, several times. Lived in Malaysia for three years and the Orient and India were just a puddle jumpper away. People don't die in Rickshaw accidents, I just don't see this as an improvement. These cars would not pass 1979 US standards. 65 mph means this thing is a death-trap
Posted by: JosephT | 23 March 2009 at 08:40 PM
As recent as 1992 a GM Geo Metro did not have any rollover or side intrusion protection.. things the Tata Nano has. The metro did have airbags but they really are not needed if you wear your seatbelt.
I just don't see this as an improvement. These cars would not pass 1979 US standards. 65 mph means this thing is a death-trap
Posted by: Herm | 23 March 2009 at 10:21 PM
Thank you for giving the cheapest car to India which makes the poor also to enjoy.minor
Posted by: Account Deleted | 23 March 2009 at 10:40 PM
European cars emit far less CO2 than their American counterparts, we've been far ahead of you in that respect for decades.
Posted by: clett | 24 March 2009 at 02:53 AM
If you've ever lived in L.A. you would not use the term "eco-loons". When you have to breathe bad air you appreciate any attempt to clean it.
Posted by: danm | 24 March 2009 at 06:17 AM
Sorry, but our aggressive cleanup regulations do penalize our domestic automakers more than others. Just who do you think must spend all the money to develop the technology to meet the toughest standards in the World ?
Who developed the Catalytic converter? Who developed the constantly self-tuning auto engines with microprocessor controls? Who pioneered the O2 sensor for closed loop control? yada, yada, yada...
The domestics have a technology development tax imposed on them.
You surely don't think the Sierra Club or Greenpeace spend a single dime developing the required technology to meet the standards that they urge on everyone and the government to enact, do you?
Plus there is the federal law that requires the automakers to cheaply license their cleanup technologies to other automakers for ridiculously low, essentially free, licenses. This was done to facilitate the spread the technology for cleanup; but it ends up costing the firms who must meet these tougher than anybody else's standards the soonest, the R&D money that it takes to do so, with little prospect of cost recovery.
And the bringing up the rear, the Japanese, Indians, Chinese, and Koreans lag far behind those current EU standards.
As an example, the EU standards for diesel NOx are fully 90% dirtier than in America, and any other toxic emission measure that you would like to examine are similar,but less stark. BTW, that is the reason there are few EU diesel models sold in America. They are polluting pigs by our laws and illegal.
Except for one standard. The EU has had tougher standards for VOC emissions from PARKED cars. But then there are tremendous numbers of sooty, stinky, polluting diesels there, And diesel fuel does not evaporate as readily as more volatile gasoline. So the EU has a standard that applies to less than 50% of the cars there,as the VOC standard was drafted such that diesel fuel evaporaitons would not exceed it. Convenient isn't it?
But CARB has even addressed that, and gone beyond with with its PZEV and AT-PZEV regulations, that equal the EU lead in that category. But the EU does not have any standards that meet SULEV or its Federal Tier II equivalent, that are the basis on TOP of which, PZEV VOC regulations are added. So our PZEV vehicles all 56 models of them in 2008, beat the EU even there.
Who gets a free ride? Certainly not our domestic automakers.
Posted by: ExDemo | 24 March 2009 at 08:40 AM
The most important speed increase occurred when transport increased speed over walking by an order of magnitude, that is, achieved a speed of 30 mph. Since the Model T made that possible, speeds have barely doubled beyond that for ordinary traffic. In India, speeds are barely past that, which is why the Nano has such modest performance. It really doesn't need to go faster, when top speeds on the best Indian highways rarely go above 45 mph.
The Nano's design parameters were constrained by the need for parsimony to achieve a profitable market price of one Lakh. This adherence to parsimony is remarkable in an industry which has turned to complexity as a problem solving tool, to ever diminishing returns.
A Nano-like vehicle is all that most people would ever require to meet 80% of their transport needs. America is full of old, fuel sucking vehicles. A switch to a Chevy Volt solution, with its $40,000 price tag, would bring about a very slow change in our vehicle fleet. However, a focus on the Nano as a paradigm for designing a new fleet of inexpensive, appropriate technology vehicles would reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions much more rapidly than all the exotic ideas out there today, because the cost would be low enough to make vehicle replacement affordable for the average user.
Posted by: fred schumacher | 24 March 2009 at 11:31 AM
I think this is a beautiful machine. It is certainly NOT primitive. In fact, I would say it is the most advanced machine on the road.
If this does not wake up manufacturers in the US and Europe I am not sure what will. There must be innovation or even the strong companies will die (although i don't think there is a strong auto manufacturer now). Why pay $20k for a little car to sit in traffic when you can buy this one for $2k?
Kudos Tata. Your innovation has demonstrated how we will solve the energy crisis.
Posted by: vv-tec.com | 24 March 2009 at 11:32 AM
They are doing this, no matter what anyone says. People will buy them because they want to and can. I can remember 1965 VW Beetles and later Datsun and Toyota pickup trucks. People bought them in the U.S. because they were cheap, good on gas and they ran the distance. Not a lot different in this situation.
Posted by: SJC | 24 March 2009 at 11:40 AM
The good side of bringing out fuel efficient cars- they will sell more in poor countries increasing consumption and put pressure on car makers worldwide to improve fuel economy because of peak oil and rising world use of fuel. It’s not ethical to watch developed countries like US squander the rest of the world’s reserves with their gas-guzzlers.
A hundred million idling engines on the world’s congested motorways waste a good percentage of the world’s precious fuel every day. I wish people would wake up to this massive disaster unfolding. But it appears most people still prefer to live with their head in sand. I say bring on fuel efficient TA-TAs and cars that have stop/start engines that don't waste fuel when they idle. It’s not full electric but its a start.
In respect to local auto makers in the US and Australia losing work to the imported Indian cars (If they ever do make it through inspections), Western auto makers can’t make cars this cheap if they were fully paid by governments. Good on the Indians, give the roads back to the people, and remove dangerous 4WDS.
Posted by: aussieniel | 26 March 2009 at 01:37 AM
A $2100 flex-fuel, 4-passenger mini-car is a real feast anywhere in the world.
For once, people outside the golden few nations will be able to own and drive a car.
China could match this feast soon and make it a BEV and/or a PHEV withing $3k.
This could become very competitive with our 50K monsters.
Posted by: HarveyD | 09 April 2009 at 09:44 AM