Saturday, July 18, 2009

American Car Culture Alive and Well In India

Tata Motors will ultimately manufacture 300,000 Nanos per year by early 2011. Nano will become the most successful microcar in the world. The Nano will begin selling in Europe in 2012. The Nano is a key national symbol for the developing middle class of India. RLW

India customs officer receives first Tata Nano

Erika Kinetz / Associated Press

Mumbai, India -- The much-anticipated Tata Nano car hit India's streets Friday night. Tata designed the ultra-cheap Nano, which retails for as little as 100,000 rupees ($2,050) plus tax and transport fees, to bring car ownership within reach of India's motorcycle-riding masses.
Tata Motors officials have said the first 100,000 Nanos will be delivered by the end of 2010. Another 55,021 customers have agreed to wait until 2011 to get their cars.

Tata Motors Chairman Ratan Tata handed over the keys to a silver Tata Nano LX to Ashok Raghunath Vichare, 59, a Mumbai customs officer chosen by lottery to receive the first ultra-cheap car. It's the family's first automobile.

"I am very happy, I can't say how happy I am," Vichare's wife, Shaila, told reporters. Tata's plan for the "people's car" was derailed after violent farmer protests forced the company to relocate a planned Nano factory from West Bengal state to Gujarat, delaying production.
The company has scrambled to open the dedicated Gujarat factory, which can make 250,000 Nanos a year, by early 2010. Meanwhile, it can produce 50,000 Nanos annually at an existing car plant in Pantnagar.

The Detroit News

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