Mumbai: Anticipating a rush on the first day of bookings for the Tata Nano small car, Wasan Motors Ltd, a dealer of Tata Motors Ltd in Mumbai, had erected temporary pavilions.
Large numbers did turn up, many with families, to book what has been billed as the world’s cheapest car.
“They want the car to be delivered immediately. Some of them were even ready to pay an extra Rs10,000-15,000 to get the car delivered on time,” said a sales representative at the dealership, who declined to be named.
In a frenzy: A Tata Nano outlet in New Delhi. Buyers are willing to pay a premium for faster delivery. Ramesh Pathania / Mint
The scene was similar in other parts of the country.
“We got 200 bookings in our outlet on day one,” said a general manager at Bangalore-based Concorde Motors (India) Ltd, one of the two Tata Motors dealers in that city. He requested anonymity as he is not allowed to speak to the media. The dealer has sold around 2,500 application forms in the past nine days, he said.
At Wasan Motors, dealer representatives, and officials of Tata Motor Finance, State Bank of India (SBI) and ICICI Bank Ltd had their hands full fielding queries and accepting forms.
A Tata Motors finance executive, who declined to be named, said the dealership has received close to 200 forms since bookings opened in the morning.
He estimated that as many as 85% of applicants have applied for financing.
Owing to the long waiting period, people do not want their cash blocked up, said the Wasan Motors sales representative quoted earlier.
Tata Motors has said that the first 100,000 cars will be allotted by lottery and that only those cars will be eligible for the Rs1 lakh base price. A salesperson at Bangalore-based Prerna Motors Ltd estimated that as many as 70% of the bookings were financed. “The ratio of people taking bank loans will go up in the coming days as people ready with cash came in today,” he said.
A SBI representative at New Delhi-based A-One Motors said the dealership had received 14 applications for booking, of which three were to be financed and the rest were paid for in cash.
Buyers can only apply through selected banks, which will hold the money till the allotment of the first 100,000 cars. The allotments will be done within 60 days of 25 April, the last date for bookings.
Poornima Mohandas in Bangalore, Jharna Majumdar in Mumbai and Samar Srivastava in New Delhi contributed to this story.