Tata Nano sale starts in Nepal from NRS 7.98 lakh

June 26th, 2011 - 10:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, June 26 (IANS) The Maruti 800, the cheapest car available in Nepal, faces tough competition from Sunday as the world’s cheapest car, Tata Nano, launched its sale in the Himalayan republic at an introductory price of NRS 7.98 (almost Rs.5 lakh).

A gleaming yellow Nano Standard was unveiled in the capital by Johnny Ommen, Tata Motors’ chief of international business, passenger vehicles, and Siddhartha S.J.B. Rana, executive chairman of Sipradi Trading, Tata’s exclusive dealer in Nepal for almost four decades.

The introductory offer would be open for 10 days with the delivery of the first consignment scheduled in July-end. While unlike in India, where the car’s price varies from state to state, in Nepal, there would be one single price for a model.

Sipradi, the second largest company in Nepal with an annual turnover of NRS 1,000 crore last year, will market the much-awaited “dream car” through 14 outlets in 11 cities.

Besides fuel efficiency and safety features, Tata Nano will be the first car in Nepal to come with a four-year warrantee for 90,000 km, Ommen said.

While in Mumbai, the Nano Standard costs about Rs.1.51 lakh, in Nepal, the price escalation is due to a whopping 240 percent taxes. These include 76 percent customs duty, 60 percent excise duty, 13 percent value addition tax, 5 percent road tax as well as an annual NRS 16,500 road tax.

However, it will still be the cheapest car in Nepal and Ommen said his company hopes to create a new segment in Nepal that will draw two-wheeler owners wanting to graduate to four-wheelers, first-time jobbers, young couples and small families.

“The Tata Nano still offers magical price value in Nepal,” Ommen told IANS. “Many people who could not think of four-wheelers can now think of a magic car.”

There have been over 5,000 queries already coming after the Tata Nano went on a Nepal yatra this month to test-drive the model in Nepal’s difficult terrain.

The booking started after 6,000 km of the 40,000 km test-ride was completed.

Nepal becomes the second international destination for Tata Nano after Sri Lanka. Ommen said there are plans for further expansion.

Bhutan could be one of the next destinations if the assessments being made in the Buddhist kingdom are favourable.

To show they mean business, Sipradi has tied up with 10 Nepali banks to offer car loans to buyers. While the Standard model can be booked with a down payment of NRS 10,000, the balance of payment could be made through five years at easy monthly instalments of NRS 11,111.

The Nano CX can be booked for NRS 20,000 and the Nano LX for NRS 30,000.

Despite the frequency of closures in the southern Terai plains, that the consignments will have to traverse as they roll out from Sanand in Gujarat and enter Nepal through Raxaul in Bihar, and growing trade union trouble in Nepal, Rana said Sipradi will continue to be innovative.

“We’ve been there, done that,” he said. “We have lived through a lot of bandhs.”

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

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