• Mar 23, 2009
Click above for a high-res image gallery of the Tata Nano

It's been a long time in the making, but the official launch of the Tata Nano has finally taken place. Billed as the World's Cheapest Car, the diminutive Nano will sell for just Rs. 1 lakh (about $2,000 U.S.) as it leaves the factory, though shipping, taxes and registration adds a considerable amount to that total. Still, there's a great deal of anticipation for the little car in its home market of India.

In base trim, the Tata Nano comes in just three colors without a radio or air conditioning, although higher-spec versions are available that include more color choices, along with such niceties as central locking, front power windows, fog lamps, a cup holder, and even a rear spoiler.

While it may be short on amenities, the real intent of the Nano is to get Indian families off their two-wheelers and inside the relative comfort and safety of a proper automobile. As such, the 33-horsepower, 623cc two-cylinder engine and four-speed gearbox is reportedly powerful enough to get the Nano to Indian highway speeds, and the car meets all required safety and emissions requirements. It also comes standard with an 18-month/24,000 kilometer warranty.

Due to the huge demand expected for the car, the automaker has created a special process for reservations. A computer will randomly choose the first 100,000 customers that will have the opportunity to purchase a new Nano. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in July, but in the meantime, Nano-intenders will soon be able to accessorize their life with appropriate accoutrements, including a Nano phone, wristwatch, and t-shirts. Official press release available after the jump. Thanks to all who sent this in!



[Source: Tata Motors]

PRESS RELEASE:

THE TATA NANO ARRIVES

Mumbai, March 23, 2009: Tata Motors today announced the commercial launch of the Tata Nano, keenly awaited across India since its unveiling on January 10, 2008. 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 the country at Tata Motors Passenger Car dealerships and other select authorised outlets from April 1st.

Speaking at a Press Conference, the Chairman of Tata Sons and Tata Motors, Mr. Ratan N. Tata, said, "The Nano represents the spirit of breaking conventional barriers. From the drawing board to its commercial launch, the concept, development and productionisation of the car has overcome several challenges. It is to the credit of the team at Tata Motors that a car once thought impossible by the world is now a reality. I hope it will provide safe, affordable, four-wheel transportation to families who till now have not been able to own a car. We are delighted in presenting the Tata Nano to India and the world."

The Tata Nano is currently being manufactured at the company's Pantnagar plant in Uttarakhand in limited numbers. The new dedicated plant, at Sanand in Gujarat, will be ready in 2010 with an annualised capacity of 350,000 cars.

THE THREE VARIANTS

The Tata Nano offers an incredibly spacious passenger compartment which can comfortably seat four adults. With a length of just 3.1 metres, width of 1.5 metres and height of 1.6 metres, the Tata Nano has the smallest exterior footprint for a car in India but is 21.

Fuel efficiency: 23.6 km/litre, certified by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) under mandated test conditions, which is the highest for any petrol car in India.

Emission: The high fuel efficiency, coupled with a low kerb weight of 600 kg, ensures that the Tata Nano – at 101 gm / km – has the lowest CO2 emission amongst cars in India. The Tata Nano is BS-III* compliant and is BS-IV* ready. It is also available in BS-II* norms.

Safety: The Tata Nano's safety performance exceeds current regulatory requirements – it passes the roll-over test and offset impact, which are not regulated in India. It has an all sheet-metal body, reinforced passenger compartment, crumple zones, intrusion-resistant doors, besides mandatory seat belts and complies fully with existing Indian safety standards. Tubeless tyres – among which the rear ones are wider endowing extra stability – enhance safety.

Warranty: 18 months or 24,000 km, whichever is earlier.

THE BOOKING 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 April 9th 2009 till the end of day April 25th 2009. The application forms will be available at a price of Rs. 300, with a range of offers from select associate Tata Group companies. The application forms will be available at over 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 Rs. 2999/- only. 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. Option to submit bookings online is available at www.tatanano.com.

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 computerised random selection procedure. These 100,000 allotments will be price protected for the launch prices till 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 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.

PREFERRED FINANCIERS

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. The updated list and details are available at www.tatanano.com .

MERCHANDISE AND ACCESSORIES

The Tata Nano comes with an attractive range of accessories and merchandise. The range of merchandise includes a Nano phone, Nano watch, T-Shirts, etc. and will be made available online at www.tatanano.com as well at all Tata Motors Passenger Car dealerships, Westside & Croma outlets. Tata Indicom will also market the Nano phone and Titan the Nano watch.

Accessories include alloy wheels, body kits, decals etc., to customise the Tata Nano to individual tastes. Details are available at www.tatanano.com .

About Tata Motors

Tata Motors is India's largest automobile company, with revenues of US$ 8.8 billion in 2007-08. Through subsidiaries and associate companies, Tata Motors has operations in the UK, South Korea, Thailand and Spain, besides India. Among them are Jaguar Land Rover, and an industrial joint venture with Fiat in India. With over 4 million Tata vehicles plying in India, Tata Motors is the country's market leader in commercial vehicles and among the top three in passenger vehicles. It is also the world's fourth largest truck manufacturer and the second largest bus manufacturer. Tata cars, buses and trucks are being marketed in several countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia and South America. (www.tatamotors.com )

*Note to editors: BS II, BS III and BS IV are the India mandatory norms for Nitrogen Oxides, Hydrocarbons, Carbon Monoxide 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.

(For free broadcast-standard and streaming quality video content about Tata Motors, please log onto www.thenewsmarket.com/tatamotors. You can preview and request broadcast-standard video which will be delivered digitally, DVD or by tape. Registration and video is free to the media.)




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 49 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Nano just might work here. I wouldn't be surprised if Tata ships it over.

      If not, then they could give us the Xenon pickup. A nice single cab in black, please.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Are those like 11" wheels? Man tiny.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Those are optional wheels. The base setup only has 3 lugnuts per rim. And they aren't alloys.

        The car pictured is significantly upgraded from base, with painted bumpers and the upgraded wheels.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Nano was inspired by the desire to help a typical indian middle class family ride in comfort and safety of a car rather than piling up 4-5 people on a motorbike. In that perspective, I think it has already succeeded.

      To get an idea of what I M talking about have a look here -

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/indian_mind/

      Hope this provides a better understanding for the purpose of this car. It goes beyond just creating "the cheapest car".
      • 5 Years Ago
      Who's ready for $4/gallon gas!!!?

      You think last summer was bad. It's only the beginning. As more Indians and Chinese pick these and other cars up, demand will skyrocket past anything we've seen. And no, drilling at home will not do anything to help America. Supply is limited here and would go into a global marketplace, feeding the insatiable appetites of those who seek to emulate our driving and development habits.

      Go America!
        • 5 Years Ago
        How about you guys stop buying pick up trucks to haul air from home to office and also develop the habit of turning off lights when you don't need? That will save more energy and oil than India and China would ever need due to surge in nano sales.

        stop being a hypocrite. With 30% of world's oil resources being used here, you have no basis to criticize other nations before doing your bit to change things.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Damn those Chinese and Indians trying to emulate "us."
      • 5 Years Ago
      I can see the dealer adds now: "Tatas for cheap!"
      • 5 Years Ago
      I live close to work, I'd use this as a commute vehicle for sure
      • 5 Years Ago
      I knew some people will jump the band wagon and start screaming this car is an utter pile of crap. This car was not engineered for American roads and it will be pathetic here. In India though, it is a significant upgrade for a family of six who has been hitchhiking on a two-wheeler. This might be a halo car for Tata Motors.

      They might as well launch a $5K version in the near future in the US and EU that satisfies all the safety and emission requirements, and has a decent set of electronic toys.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This thing is a glorified quadricycle. While it might be well suited for India, where people cram whole families and other stuff on a motorcycle; the idea of having a 30hp car with the cheapest possible parts and materials, no amenities and no safety features in a developed country is just ridiculous.

      I'd MUCH rather spend $2000 in a used Toyonda.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Old used cars - specially ones from Honda/Toyota costing around $2K require a lot of maintenance.

        Does anyone have any idea on this board about what a new Toyota Corolla sells for in India. About $20 k, give or take some. Used Corollas, with about 100k miles on them for for about $8-10k (I know that because my family back home just sold ours). What sort of Toyonda you will get for $2k... I shudder to think.

        India per capita income is below $4k on average. People don't have money to fix things - when they have to send their kids to school. The world gets by on far less, but who here would know - everyone is busy living in their own bubbles.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed. People that drive the tiny 60s/70s go-kart excuse for a sports car are just as likely to get liquidated in a car crash.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Not unlike a lot of cars that were on the highway here three decades ago (43hp Bug, anyone?) or many of the Brit cars of the time.

        Don't worry. I'm sure that by the time it's been through a few generations, it'll be a bloated whale with a 200hp engine to drag it along.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'll take the motorcycle instead...
        • 5 Years Ago
        true this CAN hold more people then a motorcycle... But to each his own I guess. I'm also quite sure you can get a used car that was once work $10k+ when it was new in India for >$2k...

        And as far as Global warming... it's a crock of crap. Weather has only been recorded for a few hundred years. The earth's been around for Billions. The climate on the earth has had drastic changes from hotter to colder throughout time and it has been proven by Geologists. The earth "warming" is all apart of the natural cycle of the earth, people just labeled it Global Warming so they could blame something and occupy their lives with bitching.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You guys dont know how good you have it. Cars are so much cheaper in the States.

        Chevrolet Aveo Price
        Rs 597,369* - Rs 727,386
        = 11,777.6 USD -14,341.0 USD

        BMW 3 Series Price
        Rs 2,690,000* - Rs 3,290,000
        =53,035.8 USD - 64,865.4 USD

        Honda Civic Price
        Rs 1,161,000* - Rs 2,150,000
        =22,890.1 USD - 42,389.2 USD

        Toyota Camry Price
        Rs 2,101,580* - Rs 2,263,480
        = 41,434.6 USD - 44,626.6 USD
        • 5 Years Ago
        People in the US need to realize that if they (most of them driving 35K cars) did not have financing they would only be able to afford this kind of stuff. That might just happen.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, this thing will sell.
        Population of India: 1.1 Billion People.
        The Days of $2 Gas are GONE.
        Global Warming? Put on your Sun-Tan Lotion, it's going to get Hotter and Drier. Faster and Faster.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Because of course, seating four people on top of you while riding a motorcycle without a helmet is so much safer than going in this thing.
        Seriously people, stop the hate and grow some perspective.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Even China is part of the Global Drought:

        http://www.peakoil.com/article47082.html

        Let's get these shipped to China, and end the world Just That Much Sooner!


        • 5 Years Ago
        I bet you could buy a real nice bike in India for $2k.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This will sell, anywhere.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed, a motorbike would be a better bet, plus have you seen what kind of load people in india ferrying around in their $500 bike?

        This is a crap car, full stop. Its the fastest to get more people killed on the roads (if you have actually seen how indians drive). I'm guessing it's one of the government measures to curb the population boom, kill more people... faster.
      • 5 Years Ago
      thats all india needs......more cars on its already choked roads. Being half indian, i really wish the government would spend more money on infrastructure and on improving public transportation in general (i visited new delhi 3 years ago, the buses are insanely over-crowded....though they do run on CNG, which is a much better alternative to conventional petrol or diesel)
        • 5 Years Ago
        India needs basic infrastructure such as roads AND it could use public transportation to take some of the load off those roads, especially in the more crowded cities. If you just build tons of roads, the big cities will still have ridiculous choked traffic, which isn't a real solution to anything. Beijing has those ridiculous 16 lane highways all over the place and traffic is still a nightmare-actually it's a bigger nightmare since more people decide to buy cars when you build highways everywhere.

        But as for the whole of india it's definitely lacking as far as basic infrastructure goes-roads and more reliable electricity would be a good start. Of course the only way to do that is if the government basically forces the building of infrastructure even if it means plowing through a whole bunch of old buildings and houses and kicking people out of their homes so you can put up new powerlines and roads. Until they're willing to start doing that the infrastructure isn't going to get any better.

        I personally think Shanghai is a pretty good city to copy as far as balancing roads and public transportation infrastructure. It still feels crowded beyond belief, but there's nice open walkway areas like nanjing west road, a super-modern subway system, and traffic might be heavy but it's still fairly bearable compared to places like Los Angeles. It's not perfect but considering the ridiculous population of greater Shanghai it'd be hard to do much better.

        The Chinese might be overly heavy-handed, but I'm honestly impressed with the insane growth that literally forcing the construction of infrastructure has allowed. It's really quite the shock when you go to the larger cities and it's more modern and better structured than your own first-world city. The disparity between that and the more rural areas needs to be worked on, but the big cities are definitely some of the most amazing things I've seen-they literally have been built up over the last 10-20 years. If you visited China in the early 1990's you literally wouldn't be able to recognize the majority of the cities anymore.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Go to Dehli regularly (gotta see family...) and I don't think India should spend more on public transportation, they should spend more on general infrastructure (ie: ROADS).

        Better roads (and order... can't forget that!!) would mean better traffic flow, would be nice to have :)
      • 5 Years Ago
      well i wonder how good those safety regulations are if there is no seat belt in the vehicle?

      :-)
      • 5 Years Ago
      what is central locking?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Translated from Britcar to USautospeak, that's "power door locks."
        • 5 Years Ago
        Is there are a US-UK car dictionary? It would make some fascinating reading. I asked for a bottle of screenwash in Nevada....
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's power locks, except that the key unlocks all doors from one door, not just the door you've put the key in.
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