What a furore, what excitement, over India’s tiniest, cheapest car! Currently, it’s still almost as rare as the sighting of a Pied Crested Cuckoo at the height of the summer in Mumbai, but by the end of the year, it’s possible that they will be jamming up some areas, as the traffic pundits so woefully predicted!

For, by the end of the year, the first booking order of 1 lakh cars will have been exhausted, and quite a few will be seen in the city. What a journey it has been for this sturdy, little addition to India’s roads. Last year in April, when bookings were announced, a record 2.03 lakh orders were taken, and the first three people to actually get delivery became minor celebrities. To re-cap, at present,4000 a month are coming out from the Tata Morors factory at Pantnagar in Uttaranchal, but in a month or two, commercial production with begin at Sanand in Gujarat, and then you will see the numbers really rise.

The Sanand factory has a capacity of 250,000 cars, expandable to 500,000 units per year, so delivery should be swift. Even in the trial period, the cumulative production of Pantnagar and Sanand has already reached 8,000 per month.

What else? It’s in New York, at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, on display till April 25, proof that the Nano has caught the imagination of the world beyond India. It will be going into Bangladesh as well. And when it was displayed at the Geneva Motor Show recently, Tata Motors officials announced that in the next 30 months, the electric version would be rolled out, a four seater instead of the current five. Oh, and if you’re worried about fuel costs evne with the Nano, wait for June. Two diesel variants should be available by then.


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