Tata Motors will roll out the much anticipated Nano – dubbed the world’s cheapest car – by October 2008.
The car being made at the Singur plant in West Bengal will be the first version of Nano. The Nano launch will likely coincide with Kolkata’s favourite festival, the Durga Puja.
Tata Motors is toiling hard to stick to the deadline in spite of various hurdles and cost over-run. It is estimated that the Tata Nano project cost has already zoomed up to Rs 2,200 crore so far as against the planned Rs 1,700 crore.
The company has preferred to downplay the political controversy over land acquisition that posed a hitch to the project, and instead blamed the floods that hit Singur in 2007 as the reason behind the cost escalation. “The Nano project is facing cost overrun, but the cars would be rolled out from the Singur plant during the Durga Puja in October barring any unforeseen circumstances,” Tata Motors managing director Ravi Kant told the media recently.
Tata Motors sees a substantial global demand for the Tata Nano with the company already receiving expressions of interest from a number of countries from Europe, Latin America, South East Asia and the USA for setting up plants. However, according to the company’s top brass, the Nano is scheduled only for the domestic market as of now and would explore countries in Africa and Latin America soon after the launch in India.
Meanwhile, the political controversy hovering around Singur seldom seemed to have died down. Tata Motors has made it clear that it wants to make peace with Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, who was opposed to the project. Saying that the company was not averse to holding talks with anyone, Tata Motors managing director Ravi Kant said the company is in Singur to manufacture and not to be in politics.
He said: “We want to work with everybody. That is how we are growing our business, whether in Jamshedpur, Pune, Lucknow or Uttaranchal.”