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Tata Motors to wheel out Nano on March 23

Now this is one ride that can give Tata Motors some relief after the heavy beating that the company experienced in recent months....

Written by ENS Economic Bureau | Mumbai | Published: February 27, 2009 1:42:56 am

Now this is one ride that can give Tata Motors some relief after the heavy beating that the company experienced in recent months. And unlike Tatas the solace won’t be yielded by its heavy-weight trucks but its most-awaited product till date — the Nano. The ultra-compact Rs 1 -lakh peoples’ car — which missed the deadline last year — would be officially launched in Mumbai on March 23,2009,the auto major said on Thursday.

The jury,the stock markets,passed its verdict as the company’s stock price zoomed 7.26 per cent to end at Rs 150 on Thursday on the BSE. “The cars will be on display at Tata Motors dealerships from the first week of April 2009. Bookings will commence from the second week of April 2009,” a company statement said.

As a long queue of customers is expected for the vehicle Tata Motors said that it was making arrangements for the widest possible network to book the car. The booking process and other details will be announced on March 23. It’s learnt that State Bank of India (SBI) is being appointed as the sole booking agent for the small car.

The Nano was originally planned to be launched in the last quarter of 2008,but was delayed after the company was forced to shift the manufacturing base from Singur in West Bengal to Sanand in Gujarat following violent protests by farmers unhappy with a compensation offer for their land. The Sanand plant will have a capacity of producing 2,50,000 cars per annum and expandable to up to 5,00,000 cars per annum.

The Nano has a rear-wheel drive,all-aluminium,two-cylinder,623 cc,33 PS,multi point fuel injection petrol engine. This is the first time that a two-cylinder gasoline engine is being used in a car with single balancer shaft.

The Nano was unveiled on January 10,2008 at the Auto Expo in New Delhi and it was also displayed at the Geneva Motor Show last year.

It triggered competition,including Nissan-Renault,to announce plans for building low-cost family cars. The homegrown Bajaj Auto has tied up with Nissan-Renault to produce small car codenamed ULC (ultra low-cost) at a price tag of $2500.

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