Tata Motors to launch Diesel Nano by 2010

Tata Motors will lauch the diesel Nano by middle of 2010. “We are part-suppliers for the diesel version and have been asked to start supplying to the Tatas in six months,” a vendor told.

“If vendors start supplying by August-September, the company should be able to roll out the diesel version by the middle of next year after extensively testing the product.”

Multiple auto industry sources indicated this version could come with a price tag of Rs. 2 lakh, making it the cheapest diesel car. The Tata Indicab, priced at Rs. 3.06-3.3 lakh ex-showroom, is currently the cheapest diesel car. Against this, the base variant (without AC) of the petrol Nano will be priced at Rs. 1 lakh (ex-showroom) and deluxe variants could cost Rs. 1.4-1.6 lakh.

However, a company source said Tata Motors is unlikely to manufacture diesel Nanos at its interim facility in Pantnagar. As the company has tested the gasoline engine, it will ramp up capacity of the petrol variant. Once the Sanand (Gujarat) facility comes up and a sufficient number of petrol Nanos are built, it could start with the diesel variant, the source added.

Currently, the company plans to produce petrol variants from its Pantnagar facility. Industrial experts said the demand for diesel versions could be high because of Tata Motors’ strength in the diesel vehicle segment. “Historically, Tata Motors has fared much better in all of their diesel versions compared with petrol versions,” said
an analyst.

Ratan Tata chairman Tata Group, while unveiling the Nano at the Delhi Motor Show in January 2008, had said the petrol versions would be followed by diesel versions.

Other vendors, when asked about the launch of the Nano diesel, said they had been asked to develop products for diesel versions. “We are suppliers for petrol as well as diesel versions. We have developed products and would be able to supply to the Tatas at one month’s notice,” said a vendor who supplies engine parts for Nano.

Vendors also told for March and April, the company has asked them to supply components for 1,000-1,500 Nano units. Moreover, the company is believed to have manufactured 600 units in February. These 600 units would be sent to all dealers throughout India for display after March 23.

The Nano diesel would be powered by a 624-cc engine as its petrol counterpart. The company is also looking at higher engine options like a 684cc two-cylinder DiCor diesel engine. The diesel Nano would be available in three versions — basic, deluxe and luxury.

Source: Economic Times