Click above for a high-res gallery of the Tata Nano

After a slew of problems and delays – not the least of which was a huge amount of opposition from local farmers in West Bengal where the first assembly plant was being built – Tata Motors has finally announced that production of their Nano city car will begin on March 23 at the alternate facility in Gurajat. Sales will officially begin the first week in April as dealerships receive their first allotments of what is sure to become an instantly popular vehicle.

Much of the hype surrounding the Nano is related to its targeted low price, which at 100,000 rupees (just under $2,000 in U.S. dollars at current exchange rates) would make Tata's Nano the cheapest automobile in the world. Of course, that's without standard air conditioning or painted bumpers and such, but it will come with a 33-horsepower, 623cc two-cylinder engine driving the rear wheels. Thanks for the tip, Gustavo!

[Source: Tata Motors via Motor Tips]

Tata Motors to launch Nano car on March 23

New Delhi - Indian auto major Tata Motors announced Thursday that it would be launching the Nano, said to be the world's cheapest car, in Mumbai on March 23 and order books would be open from April. A prototype of the car, which is expected to be priced around 100,000 rupees (about 1,983 dollars), was unveiled at an auto exposition in the Indian capital in January 2008 and was earlier scheduled to roll out by October 2008.

But protests by farmers whose land was acquired for the main plant in the eastern West Bengal state delayed the commercial launch.

The factory was relocated to Gujarat state in the west of the country.

"The car will be on display at Tata Motors dealerships from the first week of April 2009. Bookings will commence in the second week of April," a Tata Motors release said.

The booking process and the time lag for delivery of the car would be announced on March 23, said Debasis Ray, Tata Motors' head of corporate communications.

The Tata Nano had evoked "unprecedented interest" and its website had recorded 30 million hits in the past year, the statement said.

Tata Motors is part of Tata Group, one of India's largest business conglomerates, comprising 96 companies in seven different sectors with a market capitalization of 49 billion dollars.
Tata Motors acquired Jaguar and Land Rover in 2008.

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