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Nano misses out on pre-festive season ride in October



At a time when almost all car makers witnessed huge jumps in sales during October, Tata Motors' much-hyped small car Nano failed to enthuse buyers in the month, just ahead of the festive season.

In October, Tata Motors sold just 3,065 units of Nano with a mere two per cent growth, as against 22.32 per cent jump in total passenger vehicles sales it witnessed in the domestic market at 24,478 units in the month.

Interestingly, Nano sales stood at 5,520 units in September, up 61 per cent from the same month last year.

According to Tata Motors dealers, demand for Nano has tapered off with the deliveries of pre-booked cars nearing completion.

"Earlier, there was a piled up demand because of the one lakh bookings. So, we were delivering as much as possible every month. Now it is almost finished," a dealer said on the condition of anonymity.

According to industry analysts, the growth of the Tata Motors' small car was lower than normal compared to other models, as Nano possibly had some production constraints.

"Sanand facility of the Nano is not producing fully. There may be some supply issues, which are probably causing Tata Motors a certain amount of production loss," IHS Automotive Managing Director (India) Deepesh Rathore told PTI.

Tata Motors had earlier said the first one lakh customers are price-protected and they would get their cars at the announced price of Rs 1.23 lakh-Rs 1.72 (ex-showroom, Delhi). The delivery of these cars are scheduled to be over by 2010.

After ramping up production at its Sanand facility, the firm started open bookings at many places such as Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. However, due to rising input costs it raised the Nano prices twice for the off-the-shelf customers.

In July, Tata Motors hiked Nano prices by 3-4 per cent, translating to an additional cost rangign between Rs 3,700 and Rs 6,894 (based on ex-showroom, Delhi prices). It increased the price by another Rs 9,000 this month.

Nano's poor market performance is in contrast to all major carmakers such as Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) and Hyundai Motor India (HMIL) recording highest ever monthly sales during October.
MSI posted its best figure so far for the domestic market at 1,07,555 units in October, a 50.32 per cent increase from the year-ago period. Rival HMIL, too, reported its best ever domestic monthly sales at 34,725 units, a jump of 22.70 per cent over same month last year.
While MSI's sales were pushed mainly by Alto, WagonR, Swift and Ritz, HMIL rode on the back of Santro, i20 and i20.