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Bookings for world's cheapest car Nano

The newly-released Nano -- the world's cheapest car -- pictured at the Tata auto-maker's plant at Pimpri near Mumbai. The Nano went on sale on Thursday, with dealers and the company behind it confident of strong demand despite a slump in global car sales amid the world economic downturn

The much-awaited bookings for the world's cheapest car Nano which worth 2,000 U.S. dollars starts Thursday across India for a limited period of 17 days, local media reported.

Tata Motors states to accept application forms of 300 rupees (6 U.S. dollars) each for the 624-cc jelly-bean shaped Nano and a booking amount ranges between 2,850 rupees (57 U.S. dollars) and 4,110 rupees (82.2 U.S. dollars) among different banks.

Online booking for the Nano, the first such option in India, are also available with cost of 200 rupees (4 U.S. dollars)

The newly-released Nano -- the world's cheapest car -- pictured at the Tata auto-maker's plant at Pimpri near Mumbai

Tata Motors itself has sold over 75,000 booking forms from its 218 outlets across the country so far while booking agent State Band of India has distributed hundreds of thousands of applications only a day after Nano's commercial launch on March 23.

Ravi Bhattacharya, sales manager of auto dealer Autolink Delhi said that ever since the car was commercially launched, his outlets received at least 100-200 unique inquiries daily. His firm has decided to deploy additional sales-people to handle the expected rush for the bookings.

Other dealers say almost half the customers visiting their showrooms to check out the Nano are buying forms, with most of the inquiries related to the top-end variant.

According to Tata Motors, waiting time for the high end with power windows and air conditioning priced at less than 3,000 U.S. dollars could be shorter, since the company will make more of these cars than the 2,000 U.S. dollar base version.

A total of 20 billion rupees (400 million U.S. dollar) has been invested into the Nano project with five years of research and development. But the company, which had to shift its upcoming Nano factory last October after some protests over farmland acquired for the project, has earmarked just 100,000 vehicles for the first phase.


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