Tata Motors is said to be working on a left hand drive version of the Nano for export markets. The company is already achieved significant progress on the left hand drive Tata Nano, which will be sold in markets including South America, Afric and South-East Asia. Current Tata Motors sells the Nano in Sri Lanka and Nepal, with sales expected to start soon in Bangladesh. Local assembly in Bangladesh is a possibility. Tata Motors feels that countries which are similar to India offer very good potential for the Nano.
But exporting the Tata Nano as a completely built unit won’t be an option for Tata Motors because under-developed and developing markets have extremely high import duties. Thus the company is looking at assembly operations in such countries and an announcement is expected within the next four months. This will also result in Tata Motors investing heavily in these countries to set up their own assembly operations. The company could also tie-up with a local partner to do the assembly.
The commencement of export operations to left hand drive countries will enable Tata Motors to best utilize the plant capacity at Sanand. Currently Tata Motors is only manufacturing 12000 units, resulting in 40% idle capacity. Last month Tata Motors sold a record 10,475 units of the Nano in India, which is the highest sales the world’s cheapest car has achieved in the domestic market till date. The company is also working on more powerful petrol engines for the Nano, to be launched next year.
Source – Business Line