Fiat and Tata Considering Nano Joint Venture
By Brendan Moore
Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Motors said yesterday that Tata is talking with Fiat about the Italian company selling the $2500 Nano in Fiat’s mass-market retail markets. Those retail markets include every region of the globe except for the North America, which Fiat intends to enter next year with its Alfa Romeo brand.
“We have held talks about the Nano being marketed in markets where Fiat has already a strong presence. I am open to consider a partnership,” he told a news conference yesterday in Turin at a conference held to promote joint business ventures between Italian and Indian companies.
Fiat already has a very strong business relationship with Tata, India’s third-largest automaker, through which they produce and cars, engines and transmissions, and they also have agreements in place for joint ventures on large commercial vehicles. Tata and Fiat together just recently launched the 1.3 liter, 75 hp version of Fiat 500 in India.
The $2500 Nano is scheduled to start rolling off the Tata production lines at its Singur factory in Orissa in September. The initial batch run is 25 models. Expected production is forecast in the millions.
Tata Motors has already started developing new derivatives of the basic Nano to meet environmental and fuel price challenges, as well as the different market requirements of other international markets. Including, one must suppose, the safety requirements of the EU and the United States.
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