Nano dampener for Tata dealers

Written by Shweta Bhanot | Mumbai, Sep 19 | Updated: Sep 20 2008, 08:00am hrs
The festive season looks bleak for Tata Motors dealers who had been hoping to encash on mega sales of the already popular peoples car Nano. Dealers are still awaiting information from the company regarding the launch of the car, its availablility for customers and other details including the price. They have started getting enquiries from anxious customers about the Nano as well.

There is no clear information from the company about when the Nano will be launched and at what price, said a dealer in Mumbai. This was also corroborated by dealers in the cities of New Delhi-NCR region, Chandigarh, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune and Bangalore.

We have started getting numerous calls from various people, but are not able to give any answers, said a concerned dealer from Chennai. Another dealer from the city said, Tata will meet the deadline. At least 5,000 Nanos will be rolled out. Whether it meets the demand or not, a promise is a promise. His words echoed those of Tata Motors chairman Ratan Tata as he unveiled the Nano early this year in New Delhi.

Quizzed as to when bookings for Nano are expected to commence, dealers at odds with each other. A few of them said they expect bookings to start by October end, while others said it was not happening before late November.

All of them confirmed that Nano will not be seen in the showrooms before November-December; some pushed the time limit to as late as January.

Nano, supposed to be sold through exclusive showrooms, will initially be housed at existing dealership outlets. Not many dealers will be appointed till March 2009. The company will bank on existing dealer network for Nano initially, said V G Ramakrishnan, director, automotive and transportation, Frost & Sullivan, South Asia and Middle East.

He said that Tata Motors could be looking at 15,000-20,000 Nanos by March 2009. The company has 170 dealers at present. Pantnagar and Pune are ideal for the company since both Ace and Indica have witnessed a drop in sales. The company can re-align the product portfolio easily there, he said.