Five years after his promise to build a people's car, Ratan Tata will hand over the key of his dream project--the Nano- to its first customer on Friday.
From the birth of the dream in 2003, to its launch in 2008 and finally its delivery in 2009, the Nano's journey has been anything but smooth.
The car, first showcased at the Delhi Auto Expo last year, was at the centre of much controversy as its proposed plant site in West Bengal became a rallying point for Mamata Banerjee and her party to gain political mileage.
The controversy surrounding the site led Ratan Tata to abandon Singur and shift the Nano's production to Gujarat.
But the overwhelming support for Tata's dream car was evident when the booking opened early this year. Despite the slowdown in the auto sector, the car attracted over 2.05 lakh bookings.
In the first lot over 1.55 lakh cars would be delivered and the first one lakh will be sold at the announcement price of Rs 1 lakh, making it the cheapest four-wheels in the world.
Tata had earlier said that 'a promise is a promise' and keeping his promise he would hand over the first car tomorrow at the price-protected rate.
The company intends to deliver the first one lakh cars by March 2010. The selection process for the next lot of 55,021 cars has also been done.
The Nano, with a 623-cc rear-engine car and a fuel economy of over 23 km per litre, has cost over Rs 2,000 crore to build.
The car carries a price range of Rs 1.23 lakh to Rs 1.72 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the three different variants.
At present, the car is rolled out from its Pantnagar facility, which has an annual capacity of 50,000 units.