The Tata Nano has endured more than its fair share of delays, having originally carried a planned sale date of October, 2008. Needless to say, that time frame came and went with zero Nanos rolling down the assembly line, due to a wide range of issues, not the least of which was a great deal of civil unrest at the first site where production was planned in West Bengal. The Nano's assembly plant was relocated to Gurajat.
All that bad news seems to be over today as Tata has announced that its little city car will finally be launched on March 23 and the Indian automaker will begin accepting orders just a few short weeks later. The price being thrown around is 100,000 rupees, which translates to just under $2,000 in U.S. dollars at current exchange rates. That would make the Nano, which comes equipped with a 625cc twin cylinder gasoline engine, the world's cheapest automobile.
[Source: Tata Motors]
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.