Customers who missed the Nano bus in 2009 will have something to cheer later this year, when Tata Motors reopens bookings for the world’s cheapest car, perhaps before December.
The company had got 100,000 bookings in the first phase.
Production of the mini-car at the hitherto sole manufacturing unit at Pantnagar, Uttarakhand, is being raised, while the mother plant at Sanand, Gujarat, is being readied for operations.
Even as the deadline for delivering all the bookings is the last quarter of the current calendar year, the company is expected to complete this well before December.
Asked about reopening of bookings, Prakash M Telang, managing director (India operations) of Tata Motors, said, “We will open bookings when we come closer to completion of delivery. However, we will have some surprises this time.”
Since mid-July last year, when the first customer got his Nano, the company has delivered 17,537 units. From producing 70 units a day from the excise-free zone of Pantnagar, the company now produces almost 150 units a day. This is expected to become 200 units per day in the next few months. The installed annual capacity of 50,000 units created in Uttarakhand will, therefore, be raised to 72,000 units. Sources say production can be stretched further to 90,000 units a year.
The plant in Gujarat will add significant volumes once commercial production begins in March.
A gradual rise to 20,000 units a month at Sanand will help the company meet the delivery target well before December, say market experts.
The price will be an issue, considering the significant rise in key raw material prices lately.
The company had frozen the price of the first lot of 100,000 units but stated that the next batch might come with revised prices. Prices of key materials such as steel, aluminium, copper and rubber, among other things, have moved north over the past six months.
Tata Motors, like other vehicle manufacturers, raised prices of its cars, SUVs and MUVs by Rs 1,500-3,500 per unit this month. This, however, did not cover the entire increase in input costs, said officials.