Monday, November 29, 1999

Tata Nano available off the shelf now

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Customers will no longer have to wait for long periods to own the Tata Nano as dealers are now offering almost immediate delivery of the world's cheapest car.However, the company is yet to clear a backlog of orders placed by customers.Due to production constraints, Tata Motors had decided to make bookings through a lottery system and deliver the first one lakh units of the Nano by the end of this year.While the company had recently stated that open market sales of Nano are likely to begin by August with its Sanand plant going into production mode, dealers said the base model can now be purchased within a period of just two days."The base model is almost readily available. You can book today and take the delivery tomorrow," a staffer at a New Delhi showroom said.Another dealer said that medium and top-end versions of the car would take longer to deliver."If booked today, the top-end model can be delivered in 15-20 days," he added.When asked how they could entertain new bookings when the first one lakh cars were yet to be delivered by the company, the dealer said that it was being done through "management quota"."You have to write an application to Tata Motors and it will be registered for booking... The car will be delivered under management quota," one dealer official said.When contacted, a company spokesperson said: "Tata Motors is now engaged in delivering Nanos to those who have already booked, as per schedule, and at the same price as was committed during the booking."Earlier this month, the company had inaugurated the mother plant for Nano at Sanand in Gujarat. The plant has a capacity of 2.5 lakh units per annum.After forced to pull out of West Bengal's Singur, its first choice, Tata Motors had been producing the car in limited numbers at its Pantnagar facility in Uttarakhand.Nano was launched on March 23 last year. Bookings for the car opened in April 2009 and deliveries began in July that year. It has delivered over 35,000 units so far.The company had selected 1.55 lakh customers through a draw, and only the first one lakh customers were declared price protected. Nano, touted as the world's cheapest car, is available at Rs 1.23 lakh-Rs 1.72 lakh (ex-showroom price, New Delhi).

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