Indian auto maker Tata Motors yesterday introduced its much-publicised Nano brand car to the Bangladesh market, with the expectation of a better reception than its home market.
Dubbed the cheapest new car in the world, the four-seater will retail at Tk 8 lakh in the country. But on the occasion of the launch, its distributor Nitol Motors is offering a discount price of Tk 7 lakh for the first three days.
One can also buy a Nano in instalments: the down payment will be Tk 3 lakh, after which there will be 42 instalments of Tk 19,500.
Nano, which has an engine capacity of 624cc and mileage of 25 kilometres per litre, will be available in six colours: damson purple, pearl white, royal gold, papaya orange, meteor silver and dazzle blue.
Speaking at the function, Johnny Oommen, Tata Motors' head of international business for passenger cars, said they are confident that Tata Nano will capture the hearts of Bangladeshis with its fuel efficiency, comfort, performance and maneuverability.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed urged Tata Motors to set up a manufacturing plant in Bangladesh. Abdul Matlub Ahmed, chairman of Nitol Motors, requested the commerce minister to withdraw the 45 percent supplementary duty for imported cars below 700cc. If the supplementary duty is withdrawn, the price will be reduced by Tk 1.1 lakh each, he said.
Mashiur Rahman, advisers to the prime minister; Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry; and Abdul Musabbir Ahmed, managing director of Nitol Motors, also spoke at the launching ceremony.
Launched in 2009 as the world's cheapest car, Tata Nano has received a tepid reception from Indian consumers.
Rather than embracing the Nano for its cheap tag, the status-conscious consumers shunned it in favour of its slightly pricier rivals or second-hand vehicles costing the same for the higher social cachet.