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Nano turns one, likely to turn dearer

autos Updated: Jul 17, 2010 02:52 IST
Sumant Banerji
Sumant Banerji
Hindustan Times
Tata Motors

The Tata Nano turns one on Saturday, and it seems a new price tag is in the offing. Big Brother leads

Billed as the world’s cheapest car, Tata Motors' Rs 1-lakh car had promised to shake up the global car industry. But in the 12 months since July 2009, it has sold just a little over 45,000 units.

The monthly sales numbers are on the rise since the company's factory at Sanand in Gujarat became operational a couple of months ago, so a change of fortunes may be round the corner.

Tata Motors had frozen the price for the first 1 lakh bookings. On Friday, it started contacting retainee customers — those who have not cancelled their booking though they are not in the first 1 lakh list — with the message that a 3-4 per cent price hike is likely. The final price would only become clear at delivery time.

The company says the Nano is a favourite with the target group — first-time car buyers.

"We are delighted with the response from Nano owners," said Ravi Kant, vice-chairman, Tata Motors. "An overwhelming 80 per cent, for whom the Nano was the first car, had considered only the Nano, indicating its acceptability.

Experts believe the best part of the Nano story is yet to come.

"No doubt there is a lot of juice left in the story," said an auto analyst who did not wish to be named. "I expect Nano to become one of the best-selling cars in India."