It will probably go down as one of the most famous promises not kept, in corporate India’s factfile.
The world's cheapest car, Tata Nano, is set to become a little less cheap later this month when the comapny upgrades it to meet the Bharat Stage-IV emission norm, despite the company’s promise of price protection for the first one lakh buyers of the car.
Till April 30, Tata had sold only 33,875 units of the car.
As per the tentative price list available with some dealers, the Nano’s price will rise in a range of Rs 1,979 to Rs 2,133 (ex-showroom) across variants.
The on-road price is expected to rise by Rs 5,000-7,000.
The dealers have been told to educate the cutomers about the change in regulations that are forcing the company to hike the Nano’s price, even if it goes against the avowed price protection for 1 lakh customers.
“Now that emission norms in the country include BS-IV for 13 cities and BS-III for the rest of the country, the Tata Nano will be available in both BS-IV and BS-III, as is applicable,” the company said in response to a questionnaire from the Hindustan Times.
“The delivery of BS-IV Nanos is yet to begin, and is on the anvil. Should there be a price change for BS-IV Nanos, the company will intimate respective owners. In any case, 75% of Nano’s demand is in non-Metros,” the statement said.
The first BS IV car is expected to be despatched to dealerships in the 13 cities where the new norms are in force — including Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata — by the middle of this month.
In cases where a customer does not wish to pay the difference, s/he would have no option but to cancel the booking.
“The price increase is something that does not benefit the company but is a compulsion for the change in regulation,” said a dealer in Delhi. “Every other car has seen its price go up and so will Nano. If a customer does not want to pay, we will have no other option but to cancel his booking.”