|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.