Tata Nano deluxe
Tata Motors’ Singur factory has swung into high gear. The first batch of 25 Nanos, internally called the ‘pilot batch’ by the Tatas, will be ready by September 15—precisely a fortnight before the Rs 1-lakh car is scheduled to hit the road.

The Tatas have set an August 15 equipment-supply deadline for key vendors—Caparo Group, JBM Auto, Rucha Engineering and Rasandik Engineering—who will be supplying the core sheet metal for Nano.

Tata Motors has also asked its remaining component suppliers, bulk of whom are setting up units at the adjacent Singur vendor park, to rush in their supplies within the first week of September.

Tata Motors circles said the vendors had been told that even if their new facilities in Singur are not up and running by September first week, they would have to ship Nano components from their other units within the stipulated time.

At present, Caparo, JBM Auto, Rucha Engineering and Rasandik Engineering are setting up plants in Singur. When contacted, Rucha Engineering managing director Umesh Dashrathi said: “Sheet metal is an important part of a car required for its outer body structure. We have been asked by Tata Motors to be ready with our supplies by mid-August.”

Indications are the formal trial run of Nano pilot batch will kick off shortly after September 15. When contacted, Tata Motors spokesperson Debasis Ray told ET: “Tata Motors has said that Nano will be launched in 2008. The company has also said the plant at Singur is working towards production in the last quarter of the year.”

However, the spokesperson remained tightlipped on the number of Nanos that will initially roll out from Singur in early-October. Tata Motors plans to roll out 50,000 cars between October 2008 and March 31, 2009.