Tata Motors has begun selling its Nano, the world's cheapest car, in Sri Lanka. Diesel and Motor Engineering (Dimo), the agent for Tata in that country, said it began accepting bookings for the Nano on Sunday.
With a price tag of Sri Lankan Rs925,000 ($8,486) for the basic version, the car will cost almost three times its Indian price, thanks to that country's duty and tax structure. But its seller is confident nonetheless.
"We are getting good enquiries. Those who pay Rs100,000 today can have the car in two weeks after making the full payment," a DIMO spokesman said. The first consignment of 500 cars has already arrived in the country.
DIMO said the higher-end model of the Nano with air conditioning will cost Sri Lankan Rs1.1 million, just Rs40,000 (Indian Rs18,000) less than the price of the basic 800 cc Maruti in Sri Lanka.
Maruti is the market leader in small cars in Sri Lanka as it remains in India.
Sri Lanka slashed car duties in June last year, but raised them again in April this year after a heavy drain of foreign exchange to import cars.
Tata Motors managing director and chief executive Carl-Peter Forster said at the launch of the car in Colombo on Saturday that Sri Lanka will be Nano's first international destination.
''The Tata Nano will play a major role in the next phase of growth of our international business,'' he added.