Nano begins much-awaited Nepal journey

June 1st, 2011 - 4:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, June 1 (IANS) Delayed by almost a year, the Nano, the world’s least expensive car, finally begins its “Nepal Yatra” in South Asia’s poorest country, rolling out on a nearly 40,000 km test-drive to assess how road-worthy it is for Nepal, a medley of plains, hills and mountains.

Sipradi Trading Pvt Ltd, the sole dealer for Tata vehicles in Nepal for almost three decades, and the highest seller of Tata vehicles in the international market in 2009, announced that the first Nano in Nepal would be unveiled at a ceremony in the capital Wednesday.

After an eager wait for two years, the capital will finally come face to face with the Nano when two cars, brought in via Birgunj, will be driven though major roads Wednesday, after which they will fan out across the republic covering about 40,000 km.

The Nano sale will start after the test-drive is over and the reports arrive.

However, Nepalis will have to shell out a hefty amount for the world’s least expensive car, thanks to the whopping customs duty and other taxes which went up further this year.

Though Sipradi is yet to announce the prices, it is being calculated that the Nano in Nepal will cost between NRS 8 lakh-11.5 lakh, (around Rs.5-7 lakh). This will make the Nano in Nepal more expensive than in Sri Lanka where its made its debut Saturday at prices starting from around NRS 6 lakh.

Last year, Sipradi was hoping to test-drive the Nano in Nepal in July. However, the plan was shelved due to both the relocation of the Tata Motors factory from West Bengal to Gujarat and the political upheavals in Nepal.

Tata vehicles account for nearly 22 percent of the four-wheeler market in Nepal with the Tata Vista being the most popular car from the group’s stable.

Indian cars dominate Nepal’s car market and Hyundai, Maruti and Tata vehicles are the most sought after cars.

(Sudeshna Sarkar can be contacted at sudeshna.s@ians.in)

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