The Tata Nano continues to make headlines both for the right and wrong reasons since its unveiling at the Delhi AutoExpo in January this year. Land acquisition trouble and rising inflation which has past well over 11% in the country has created a new set of problems for Tata, although the manufacturer is hell-bent on retailing the base model at $2,500 and more importantly on the previously decided dead line of anytime between September and October.
The good news is that Tata is working on multiple variants of the Nano. No, not bumper colors or alloy wheels, by variants, we mean powertrain options. Sources say a battery powered Nano might roll out of the Singur plant in West Bengal very shortly along with air-powered and micro-hybrid (start-stop technology) models.
The compressed air technology would be borrowed from French company MDI, which uses compressed air to push the piston. An onboard compressor pressurizes air which is stored in a tank for use, a technology which works pretty well, and is one of the best alternatives to an electric car.
Otherwise, the Tata Nano uses a 2-cylinder 624 cc engine that produces a little over 30 hp. The tailpipe emissions are minimal and is less than what an average motorcycle in India would emit.
Hyundai has set its eyes on the micro car segment; it is planning to launch a competitor to the Tata Nano by 2011 with an estimated price tag of $3,500.
However, Hyundai has said that it has no intention to go head-to-head with the Tata Nano, which is believed to change the Indian car market forever. Hyundai’s managing director in India, Heung Soo Iheem said: “We do not have immediate plans to fight with the Nano. It is planned keeping in mind the Indian market conditions and the interest of the general public.”
The economy car is currently under development at Hyundai’s research and development center in South Korea, it would also be exported beyond India.
The competition in the segment is getting tougher as Indian company Bajaj has teamed up with Renault to create a similar low-priced car by the end of 2011. Time will tell which budget car will emerge as the lower-middle class’ favorite.
Tata Motors, the newest owner of Jaguar and Land Rover revealed its luxury options of the $2,500 Nano microcar. Although you expect the car to be as simple as it can due to its low price, the Indian manufacturer introduced some „luxury” options for the cheapest car in the world.
Tata launched a customization website that allows its customers to choose between a standard and a luxury line, to decide wether they want or not alloy wheels. The clients can also choose the scoop trims, decals, fog lamps and seat covers. For all the fans of sport cars the bad news is that the 30 hp engine remains the same.
Ford announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Jaguar Land Rover operations to Tata Motors.
The transaction is the culmination of Ford’s decision last August to explore strategic options for the Jaguar Land Rover business, as the company accelerates its focus on its core Ford brand and “One Ford” global transformation.
The sale is expected to close by the end of the next quarter and is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of applicable regulatory approvals.
The total amount to be paid in cash by Tata Motors for Jaguar Land Rover upon closing will be approximately US $2.3 billion. At closing, Ford will then contribute up to approximately US $600 million to the Jaguar Land Rover pension plans.
Ford has finally sold its euro brands, Jaguar and Land Rover to the Indian company Tata Motors, for $2 billion. According to our sources the company signed the deal on Tuesday and planns to make the public announcement on Wednesday.
The American manufacturer did not want to make any comments regarding the deal and added that its first responsibility is to communicate the transaction to the eomployees. Ford, which lost $12.6 billion last year, is planning now to invest the money in developing new cars and revive its brands. The first brand to begin the reviving process is the luxury Lincoln brand.
General Motors declared that they have no intentions in competing against Tata’s $2500 Nano. General Motors Asia Pacific president David N Reilly stated that they cannot compromise with the Chevrolet brand by making a competitor but are looking at making another small-car below the Chevrolet Spark’s price point.
The Chevrolet Spark is at present, the entry-level model of GM priced at US $7564 (ex-showroom price, Delhi). But nothing about the cost aspect was revealed for this new car which is planned to enter the Indian market sometime in the next two years. GM will develop this car with other similar International markets in mind and will use it to attain its target of 10 per cent market share in India by 2010.
At present, three-fourths of the cars sold in India are small cars which has evolved into a major small-car hub. Toyota, Renault, Ford, Hyundai and Fiat are all developing their own Nano versions cheaper than anything else in their product range.
Rising crude oil prices is the reason why people not only in India, but all over the world prefer small, economical cars which are easy on the environment too. But crude oil prices are not ascending alone. The cost of raw materials which includes steel and aluminium, which are used to make vital components in a car, are also increasing.
The big question remains to be safety. At such rock-bottom prices, will the safety factor be given adequate importance by car makers?
Really??;seriously??;is it so?;Impossible;are you kidding me?-those were some responses of the Indian people to the OLRC(One lakh rupee car) when Tata Motors proposed the plan of making it. Is it going to be an auto rickshaw with four wheels?;is it a golf cart with doors??;is it going to even look like a car?-Those were some other interesting questions posed. Everything about this small car was kept under wraps during its probation period and it was like a top secret military mission which everyone wanted to know about but couldn’t. Here is a topspeed.com special article written to help you know all that you must about the Tata Nano.
Caparo, the manufacturer of the super-advanced Caparo T1, will build body structures for the Tata Nano. Caparo has been manaufacturing similar items for other auto makers in India for the last three years. Their customer list also boasts of JCB and Ashok Leyland.
60% of the assemblies will be taken care by Caparo. The structural panels will be pressed and assembled at the factory in Singur, West Bengal, where the car will be manufactured. To keep the costs down, Caparo has used a new semi automated production line with zero fault forward quality control systems that will ensure maximum efficiency.
"The body technology is relatively conventional, but the manufacturing technology is the result of very sophisticated analysis to ensure high-quality, low cost production," said Caparo Group CEO Angad Paul.
The reason why Tata has handed this task to Caparo is because of their good reputation for producing high quality components, and they also supply components to rival Maruti Suzuki’s 800.