'Selected' customers still waiting for delivery of Tata Nano

Even as Tata Motors is offering the small car for open sales in a few more states, many customers from the initial one lakh group are still waiting to receive their vehicles

Tata Motors Ltd, India's largest vehicle manufacturer by revenue, is yet to complete the delivery of its small car, Nano, to a privileged batch of the first one lakh select customers and another 55,000 who have retained the bookings they made 16 months ago. This, despite the small car being also made at a second plant at Sanand in Gujarat, since June.

"Tata Motors has delivered 70,817 cars, as at the end of October 2010," a company official said. "The total production since April 2009 till the end of October 2010 is 71,700. Since deliveries started in July 2009, we began reporting monthly production numbers to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), along with the monthly sales data. If you take the production from July 2009 till the end of October 2010, it is 69,415 cars."

However, the figures don't tally with the figures provided by SIAM. According to a SIAM report, between April 2009 and October 2010, Tata Motors produced 50,269 units of Tata Nano and sold (delivered, in fact) 50,985 units during the period.
The company said in a statement: "Tata Motors' new 2,50,000 cars per year plant at Sanand (Gujarat) is fully operational. Production at the plant is being speedily ramped up, for instant delivery."

In July, Moneylife had reported that production constraints at Sanand and Pantnagar plants had forced Tata Motors to delay delivery as well as open sales of Tata Nano by a few months. (Read more http://www.moneylife.in/article/8/7084.html)

The Sanand plant, which started operations in June 2010, has a capacity to produce 2.5 lakh Nanos a year. But, till date, Tata Motors has not been able to produce more that 5,000 Nanos a month, from both the plants. The company official declined to provide details of production at each of the plants.

According to a report by the Press Trust of India, vendors of Tata Nano have been told to scale up the supply of components by three times by March 2011, to make about 10,000 units monthly.

In addition, Tata Motors has been delivering Nanos to a select 1.5 lakh customers as well as making open sales in select markets. Deliveries for one lakh customers began in July 2009 and this was followed by deliveries to over 55,000 customers who have preferred to retain their booking.

In mid-August, the company started open market sales of the Nano in Kerala. In October, it added Maharashtra, Karnataka, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh to the list of states where people can buy the Nano directly from dealers. Today, the company announced open market sales in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

Earlier this month, Tata Motors decided to install additional safety devices, especially for electrical and exhaust systems in all Nanos, to allay fears after fires in some vehicles.

The Nano was a huge hit among the middle class, with almost 2,03,703 people booking the vehicle in advance. At that time, Tata Motors shortlisted 1,00,000 owners through a computerised selection process. The company said that the cars were "price-protected" and that people would get the vehicle at "ex-showroom price". There was a further wait-list of 55,021 customers.

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