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Tata working on cheaper Nano

Tata Motors has set up a new team in its Pune plant to cut the Nano’s cost further. Suprotip Ghosh reports. Graphics | On the fast track

autos Updated: Mar 21, 2008 02:35 IST
Suprotip Ghosh
Suprotip Ghosh
Hindustan Times

Will the Rs 1 lakh car be available for less? Tata Motors has set up a new team in its Pune plant to cut the Nano’s cost further.

The Nano, unveiled at the Delhi Auto Expo 2008, is close to production and is expected to be available in October. It will be made at the Tata Motors plant in Singur, West Bengal, which will be commissioned in June, according to company sources.

“There is a team of people in Pune who are right now working on bringing the costs of the Nano down further,” Tata Motors Managing Director Ravi Kant said on Wednesday night. He was talking at a seminar on innovation sponsored by Marico Industries in Mumbai.

The basic, stripped-down version of the Nano could cost Rs 1.3 lakh on road. Other versions, including those to be sold in the West, will cost much more. These cars will have optional power steering, power windows and air-conditioning, apart from CD players and cigarette lighters.

This would mean a bigger engine, and therefore subtle changes in design, said a source on condition of anonymity. However, the basic structure of the car would remain unaltered, he added.

The cost-cutting team comprises a set of people who were not part of the team led by Girish Wagh, lead designer of the Nano and Tata’s mini truck Ace. The Nano has coined a new phrase in global circles – frugal engineering.

The car, which uses extensive amounts of steel in a semi-monocoque design, is able to withstand stress without an extensive frame. This brings costs down.