Tata Motors began trial production of the INR100,000 (US$2,200) Nano at its new Sanand factory in Gujarat state last month and is set to begin commercial output by April.
While the company refused to give details to The Hindustan Times, increased production will only speed new orders for the Nano, the paper said.
Tata‘s original plan to build the Nano in a new factory in Singur were scuppered by violent protests against farmers’ land having been taken for the new facility and the automaker was eventually forced to abandon the 95%-complete plant. It subsequently accepted an offer from the Gujarat government – keen to secure the automaking and associated support jobs – to build a plant on the Sanand site.
Post-April, production is likely to double from the current monthly average of just around 4,000 cars, according to the Hindustan Times. Tata currently makes the Nano at its plant in Pantnagar, Uttarakhand, which also builds the Ace, Winger and Magic.
“We have started the trial production of Nano in Sanand and commercial production should start in another two-three months,” said vice-chairman Ravi Kant.
The 1,100-acre Sanand facility will have initial capacity of 250,000 cars a year, expandable up to 500,000.
“The ramp up of production will be gradual, and I will say that, by August, the number of cars produced in the factory will be substantial,” a Tata Motors spokesman said.
Once the factory is operational, the waiting period for the car will be shorter. Vendor sources told the Indian newspaper that initially, a little over 200 Nanos a day (over 5,000 per month) will be produced at Sanand.
Between July 2009, when the first Nanos reached the roads, and January 2010, 21,535 were sold across the country. When the first round of ‘bookings’ for the car closed in April 2009, 203,000 had been ordered and the company said it expected the first 100,000 cars would be delivered by the end of 2010.
“Post April, at least 8,000 units of the car will be produced cumulatively, which would ensure that allotment to the first 100,000 customers would be exhausted much before the end of this year,” said an anonymous supplier. “I would expect Tata Motors to start fresh bookings in the second half of next year.”