Tata Nano takes a left hand drive into overseas markets

Roudra Bhattacharya New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018


Assembly operation to be announced in 3-4 months

With work on a left-hand drive model of the Nano on at full steam, Tata Motors plans to add new export markets such as Africa, South America and South-East Asia this fiscal for the compact car.

This is the first time the celebrated “cheapest four-door hatch globally” will venture beyond the subcontinent.

Apart from India, the Nano is currently sold in Sri Lanka and Nepal. Bangladesh will also be added soon, where an assembly option is being considered.

Mr Prakash M Telang, Managing Director of Tata Motors' India Operations told Business Line that plans for assembly operation would be announced in 3-4 months for certain overseas markets which have high import duties and a volume prospect.

“The countries which are similar to India offer good potential for the Nano to grow.

We are now pursuing Bangladesh - there are some import restrictions, so we're trying to work around that.”


“Then we will look at several other regions beyond the subcontinent.

In Africa, many markets are left-hand drive, so we're developing that now. South America is also mostly left-hand drive. We're also looking at ASEAN very closely,” he said.

New export markets will be critical for Tata Motors as it expects to utilise full capacity at the 2.5 lakh units a year Sanand plant.

By increasing production to 20,000 units a month from about 12,000, exports will help the single-product plant become viable more quickly, say industry sources. “We're fully confident that by the middle of this fiscal we will utilise the full capacity at Sanand. Nano is getting good traction and there is now the international market,” Mr Telang said.

The plan to use full capacity has been delayed due to a slowdown in Nano sales in the first three quarters of 2011-12.

However, sales in the domestic market have picked up since around January, especially after the launch of the updated version – Nano 2012. March saw a new high of 10,475 units, from the previous peak of 10,012 units in April, 2011.

To add to volumes, the company is reportedly also developing a diesel variant of the Nano, apart from a higher-end petrol variant with a bigger engine.


Published on April 02, 2012

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