A computer program will decide who owns the first Nano. All names put together from the 15 days of booking, till April 25, 2009, would be fed into a computer, and one lakh lucky names would get the grand possession, a brand new Tata Nano.
After six years, Ratan Tata, the chairman of the Tata Group has kept his promise, delivering a small car that is low on cost. “We broke many barriers in terms of concepts. Most had believed it could not be done.”
And the promise, Tata said, is a promise. So the first one lakh Nano cars, buyers are protected from any increase in price. The price of the base model ex-factory is Rs 1 lakh.
Thereafter, as managing director Ravi Kant said, market forces would determine the price. About 4,200 cars are expected to be delivered every month till the new plant at Sanand in Gujarat starts production by early 2010.
The lottery shows a cautious optimism from Tata Motors. India’s largest maker of cars, buses and trucks is trying every possible outlet for sale. The aim is to reach as many people as possible.
“Currently, I am having nightmares trying to launch the product in hand,” said chairman Ratan Tata at a press conference before the launch of the Nano where close to a thousand journalists were packed into a hall at the Taj Mahal Palace and Towers that saw the 26/11 terrorist attacks. That nightmare though, is long over.
“I can say that my feeling today is that of contentment,” Tata said.
Once the car is on road, Tata Motors would provide a warranty of 18 months or 24,000 km, whichever is earlier.
The service availability of the cars though, was not immediately clear. Sources indicate that the car would be serviced at authorised service centres, and Tata Motors “would make service of the car available at the closest practicable point,” said a Tata Motors spokesperson.
At the launch, there was considerable curiosity around the car. People got in, tried the interiors, and beeped the horn. Despite the boot in front, and bonnet at the back, people seemed to like it.
“I like this, I’ll probably buy it,” said a young lady in red.
The lady though, might have to wait for the computer to throw up her name after paying Rs 300 for the application form. Once the form is filled up, it would have to be submitted, along with the money.
This money, the booking amount, is almost 80 per cent of the price of the car. And in case you did not get lucky, Tata Motors would give you interest, 8.5 per cent for two years, and 8.75 per cent for the next years, as long as you have to wait for the Nano.