Tue, March 24, 2009
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Hello to Tata Nano

2009-03-24 02:59:33 GMT2009-03-24 10:59:33 (Beijing Time)  Reuters

The Indian car maker officially unveils the world's cheapest car.

The small car with the world's lowest price tag has made a big entrance at its official launch in Mumbai.

Indian car makers Tata finally unveiled the Nano.

It comes brand spanking new for just 2, 000 U.S. dollars.

But Tata's chairman insists they didn't set out to set a world record low on cost.

SOUNDBITE: Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Motors, saying (English):

"It never was conceived of its being the cheapest car. It was conceived of its being a car that would give the people of India an opportunity to a car that had not been within their reach before."

The Nano's formal launch comes six months behind schedule and with its first year of production severely constrained.

It'll take over a year to deliver the first 100, 000.

With demand set to outstrip supply by a long chalk the first lucky owners are being randomly picked from reservations made between the 9th and 25th of April.

The Nano looks likely to be a boost for Tata which has seen its share price plunge, credit rating downgraded and has posted its first loss in seven years.

A European version is due to be launched in two years time.

The firm is also considering the U.S. market where the lure of low-cost cars has grown in the grip of the economic crisis.

Paul Chapman, Reuters

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