Despite our earnest hope otherwise, it appears as though the Tata Nano is once again slated for release and poised to take the global auto market by storm. Initially unveiled in production form back in January, the Tata Nano instantly made headlines with its sensational claim as the cheapest car in the world. Featuring a retail price of just 100,000 rupees ($1,979) the 10-foot long Nano was designed to encourage India’s motorcycle riders to upgrade to a safer means of transport by offering an affordable four-wheel vehicle. Powered by a 33bhp, 624cc 2-cylinder rear-mount engine, the Tata Nano maxes out at 65 mph yet supposedly achieves 54 mpg, making it highly desirable for India’s primitive, congested traffic conditions.
As expected, Indian consumer demand for the Nano has been enormous, but construction complications with Tata’s factory have limited the number of Nano’s produced to only 100,000 units the first year. Taking great pains to resolve the problem as fairly as possible without alienating any potential customers, Tata has announced they will be using a computerized lottery system to distribute the first vehicles when they officially become available on April 9th.
By 2010, Tata hopes to have their Nano-devoted plant in Gujarat, India fully operational and prepared to begin producing 350,000 models a year. In 2011, Tata plans to introduce the Nano to the European and Asian markets, with a U.S. debut tentatively scheduled to follow later in 2012.