Tata Motors plans to open around 300 dealer outlets dedicated solely for its Nano model in this fiscal year, as the car makes inroads in semi urban and rural parts of India. This move by the company, coupled with the new exports markets like Nepal and Sri Lanka are expected to push sales of the Nano, which has seen fluctuating sales in the last few months.
Sales of the Nano were half of that compared to two months ago. The Nano sold 5,451 models last month; compared to the 10,012 units it sold in April.
A spokesperson for the company said that they felt a need to make the Nano available at more locations. They will be adding 300 dealer outlets this fiscal year in smaller towns and rural areas. Currently the Tata Nano is available at more than 600 outlets, whereas they have an additional 200 experience points.
He also added that they have set a target for export sales from Sri Lanka and Nepal; however they are planning to have more export markets this fiscal. The last high for the Nano model in regards to sales was in July 2010, when it sold 9,000 models, and in March this year, when it sold 8,707 models.
The official from the company said that they expect their sales to be normalised soon. The last two months saw sales fall, as they generally do in the monsoon period. There was also some resistance in the market due to hike in interest rates and fuel prices that have affected the entire auto industry.
The need of increasing Nano sales is a result of the company reaching full production capacity of around 2.5 lakh models per annum at their Sanand plant for just the Nano model this fiscal.
Two months back, a senior official from the company said that they were targeting to expand their manufacturing capacity from the current 10,000 to 15,000 units per month, to 18,000 to 20,000 units per month. The Nano is a major success driver for the company. When the car was first unveiled at the Auto Expo in Delhi back in 2008, it was publicized as the world’s cheapest car, being expected to offer an affordable transport option as well as an upgrade for families with two wheelers.
The monthly sales following its 2009 launch have been inconsistent, which the company has attributed mainly because of low production following supply shortage of components and the manufacturing shift to Sanand from Pantnagar.