The launch of India’s Tata Nano, was delayed at the last moment in Bangladesh after its distributor said it was seeking a cut in price.
Nitol Motors, Tata’s sole distributor in Bangladesh, was due to launch the car at a fair on but high taxes meant the price tag for the least expensive no-frills Nano would be 599,000 taka (US$7,900).
That compares to 141,000 rupees ($2,870) for a basic Nano model in India.
“A lot of people came to us for booking at the fair. At least 23 people confirmed their interest,” said Abdul Matlub Ahmad, director of Nitol Motors. “But we’ve deferred launch of Nano at the last moment as we’re seeking a re-look at the price, which some say is too high.”
Both the Nano and other small cars produced by foreign companies such as Maruti are significantly more expensive in Bangladesh as importers have to pay 132 percent tax on each car.
“We anticipate the Nano will be very popular because it is extremely fuel efficient. You can drive more than 25 kilometres with a litre of petrol.
Fuel prices have risen sharply in Bangladesh over the past year due to rising global costs and the phasing out of government subsidies as Dhaka struggles to rein in its soaring imports bill.