Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata on Tuesday said many variants of its low-cost model Nano, including one with a high-powered engine, a diesel car and electric versions are being planned, but added they are not likely to hit the roads in the near future.
“There will be many variants like with a high-powered petrol engine, a diesel engine and electric motor,” Tata said at the Geneva Motor Show. “There is no timeframe for when they would be launched as they are all under development. The petrol engine is under development but not ready yet. In most cases we are breaking new ground so there is a sense of uncertainty.”
At present, Nano is powered by a 2-cylinder 624cc petrol engine, the smallest petrol engine in the country. The company on Tuesday unveiled a four seater electric vehicle concept Megapixel, based on the Nano platform. The car offers a range of 90 km with a fuel economy of 100kpl and carbon emission of 22 gm per km. There are no plans to produce this car for the market though.
Attending the show for the last time as the chairman of the Tata group, Ratan Tata said the company could do better in global markets than what it has so far. “We have a lot to learn and have to move from developing to developed markets....which would mean we have to offer all the (high-end) features of cars in these markets. That will take some time,” he said.
He was also opposed to the prohibitive import duties on cars in India reiterating that domestic companies do not need protection anymore.
“It is more rational to have a policy that encourages manufacturers to invest in a country rather than just import cars,” he said. “But we are competing with international brands and have survived. The duties need not be prohibitive as we do not need protection anymore,” he added.