The Tata Nano’s sales might be in the slow lane but Tata Motors’ factory at Sanand, 40 km from here, once dedicated to manufacturing the small car, is working to roll out the sedan version of its latest hatchback, the Tiago, during the festive season.
The plant is already working in two shifts to meet demand for the Tiago, which has a two to three-month waiting period.
Sources also indicate plans for a crossover vehicle based on the Tiago platform. Earlier named the Zica Aktiv, it was shown at the Auto Expo 2016 in Delhi.
The sedan version has been spied testing on highways around Sanand and is expected to go into production soon. The car was also showcased by the company in the Auto Expo and sports a 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.05-litre diesel engine.
When launched, the car is expected to rival the Maruti Swift DZire, Honda Amaze, Ford Figo Aspire and Volkswagen Ameo in the compact sedan category. Analysts expect the car to be priced competitively, like the Tiago. Many also feel this would be a peppier alternative to the Indigo eCS, another compact sedan from the Tata stable.
Sources indicate plans to launch the Tiago sedan (which might be named Canvas, Dribble or Ingrid, say market sources) around the Dussehra-Diwali period to cash on the festive demand. “Tata is also working on rolling out an automated manual transmission (AMT) variant of the Tiago, expected to hit the markets around the same time,” a source said.
“We do not comment on future product plans,” a company spokesperson said.
Sanand is presently making a little more than 500 Tiagos a month. The Nano also continues to be made here, though the numbers have dwindled. According to data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, no more than 398 Nano cars were made in June, down 77 per cent from the 1,711 Nanos produced in June 2015. Cumulatively, between April and June, the Sanand unit produced 2,352 Nanos, down from 4,529 in the year-ago period.
Prior to the Tiago hatchback's launch, capacity utilisation at Sanand was only about 10 per cent. The plant can make 250,000 cars a year.