Since the plant that will be dedicated to Nano's production, in Sanand, in the Indian State of Gujarat, will only be ready in 2010, production will not meet the high demand expected for the cheapest car of the world. This is why the company has decided to create a reservation system, or else: anyone interested in being one of the first owners of Nano will have to pay for that privilege.
Nano will have three versions in India: Standard, CX and LX. Standard, as the name states, will be the entry-level version. It will cost, in Pant Nagar, 112,735 rupees, or US$ 2,232.38, or a little above 1 lakh, or 100,000 rupees, or US$ 1,980.20, as promised. According to Tata, the car will cost 1 lakh when it leaves the factory, what, in our opinion, is not of much help for the final consumer. Anyway, Nano is still very cheap. For this vehicle, reservation price is 95,000 rupees, or US$ 1,881.19.
The Nano Standard offers three colour options, one-tone seats and a foldable rear seat. By the way, all Nano units are 3.1 m long, 1.5 m wide and 1.6 m tall, with a 624 cm³ rear two-cylinder engine mated to a four speed gearbox. The engine generates 35 bhp at 5,250 rpm and 48 Nm at 3,000 rpm, what helps the 600 kg car reach a top speed of 105 km/h and emit only 101 g/km, with a fuel consumption of 23.6 km/l. With its 15 l fuel tank, Nano has a mileage of 354 km.
Nano has no disk brakes, only drums in all four wheels. Considering the car's weigh and top speed, this should be no problem in city traffic, but may cause overheating in highways. This may be a reason for Nano's short warranty period: only 18 months or 24,000 km, whatever comes first.
The intermediary version of Nano, CX, offers five colour options, parcel shelf, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC), two-tone seats, a foldable rear seat with nap rest and, surprise, booster-assisted brakes. In other words, anyone missing ABS shoud try to stop a Standard Nano without getting tired very quickly. CX prices go from 139,780 rupees, or US$ 2,767.92, to 160,320 rupees, or US$ 3,174.65. Its reserve price is 120,000 rupees, or US$ 2,376.24.
The top Nano, called LX, offers everything CX does plus fabric seats, central locking, front power windows, body coloured exteriors in three premium colours, probably mettalic ones, fog lamps, electronic trip meter, cup holder in the front console, mobile charger point and a rear spoiler. Prices for LX range from 170,335 rupees to 185,375 rupees, or US$ 3,372.97 to US$ 3,670.79. Its reserve price has been established at 140,000 rupees, or US$ 2,772.28.
The reservation system will start in April 9 and will go until April 25. It will Work with the help of the State Bank of India, the second largest bank of the world in number of branches. Application forms will be sold in dealerships, bank branches and many others places, in a total of 30,000 places in 1,000 cities all over India, at a cost of 300 rupees, or US$ 5.94. In banks, everyone willing to finance their Nano will be able to do so by paying a minimum of 2,999 rupees, or US$ 59.39.
An electronic random sorting process will be performed 60 days after bookings are closed in what Tata calls "the first phase" of Nano sales. This first phase will name the first 100,000 owners of Nano. Deliveries will start in July.
The people that have not been chosen to buy their Nano in this first phase may keep in line or have their money back with no interest rates. If they decide to keep waiting, Tata will pay an interest rate of 8.5% for a waiting period until two years and 8.75% for a waiting period superior to two years.
When the plant in Sanand is ready, it will be able to produce 350,000 vehicles every year. Considering the high demand the cheapest car of the world will have, that may still be not enough.