The launch of Ratan Tata’s ultra-low cost car, Nano, will be slightly delayed. The launch of the car will be in the first quarter of 2009. Tatas had earlier said the rollout will be in the last quarter of this calendar year.
“Tata Motors will explore the possibility of manufacturing the Nano at its existing facilities at Pune and Pantnagar, and launch the car in the last quarter of this financial year,” Tata Motors said in a statement.<b1>
Tata Motors on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding with the Gujarat government for relocating the Nano plant to Gujarat. The plant will be located in Sanand, near Ahmedabad and will have an initial capacity of 2.50 lakh units, which will be expanded up to 5 lakh cars per year.
Earlier, Tatas had planned to roll out the car from Singur in West Bengal, from where it pulled out due to immense political resistance. The relocation of the plant will make it difficult for the Tata engineers to roll out the product on time.
“What we are intending to do is to roll out the first few units from some of our other plants. However, Gujarat plant will be the mother plant for the Nano project,” said Ratan Tata.
According to sources close to Tata Motors, the company would assemble the first few units from their Pune and Pantnagar plants. “This will be in small numbers. However, we expect the roll out will be there in time,” said a source. Tata Motors is making the Ace Minitrucks from its Pantnagar facility. It has got its largest plant in Pune.
However, analysts say it would take a little longer time for the Tatas to launch the car. "They are going to bring out the first car from Pantnagar. But it cannot be said if it will happen before diwali as full-fledged production will take some time. The location of the plant, east or west does not matter as there are ports in both places and Tatas will be eager to first test the domestic demand before targeting exports," said Manish Sonthalia, vice president (equity strategy), Motilal Oswal Securities Ltd.
Tata Motors shares were up 0.88 per cent to close at Rs 316.60 at the BSE on Tuesday when the benchmark sensex shed 106.46 points or 0.90 per cent to close at 11695.24 points.