Bangalore: The country’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer, Tata Motors Ltd, is likely to start taking bookings for its much anticipated Tata Nano small car in June with deliveries set for September-October, according to a company engineering executive.
V.G. Gujrathi, senior general manager (electricals and electronics) of the research and development (R&D) arm of Tata Motors, told Mint the company is expecting demand for the car, which will start at Rs1 lakh, to exceed supply.
“Demand is going to be tremendous and if we can’t serve the customer, there will be chaos,” he said on the sidelines of the annual conference of the India Semiconductor Association in Bangalore. “There could be a negative reaction if bookings are not met in an organized manner.”
A Tata Motors spokesman said: “Tata Motors hasn’t made any official announcement on the booking plans.”
As for Gujrathi’s comments, the spokesman said: “As an official spokesperson, Ihave to say that there is no official announcement on our market plans.” Tata Motors is mulling ways to handle the bookings. Among some of the options it is weighing is staggered booking, much like it did with the recently launched commercial vehicle, the Ace, which began in cities in the south.
“We don’t know how successful it will be going for bookings in a phased manner in selective cities,” said Gujrathi. “Another option can be to open bookings for only first-time car customers, or those who really aspire for Nano. But, the challenge will be how to identify these customers; it’s not practical.”
A suggestion on bringing the Tata Nano first to the semi-urban cities was also mulled over but this too posed challenges, Gujrathi said. “We cannot curb the demands of a potential customer and that is why we are taking our time to decide the best way to handle bookings,” he added.
Tata Motors’ engineering research centre at Pune is working on more variants of Nano that will have advanced features. “Nano is just a platform and in future we shall be adding features like automatic transmission, anti-lock braking system and navigation devices,” he said.