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Tata Nano set to drive into Taiwan

By The Assam Tribune

TAIPEI, June 3 (IANS): Tata Nano, the world's cheapest car made by India's Tata Motors, is set to drive in to Taiwan, a manufacturing hub of iPods and green technologies, later this year.

Theodore Huang, chairman of Taiwan's TECO group, is upbeat about the prospects of the Tata Nano in the Taiwan market, but says it may have to be modified to suit the island's high environmental standards.

Huang, who visited New Delhi in January and went on a test drive in a spanking new Tata Nano, said he was impressed by the small car and found the ride "comfortable and satisfactory". It accelerates smoothly and can exceed speed of 100 km per hour, he said.

Huang's company is interested in becoming Tata Motors' agent in Taiwan and selling the Nano car in the prosperous island, the world's 17th largest economy that has identified India as a focus market.

The prospects of Tata Nano in the Taiwan market are bright, Pradeep Kumar Rawat, director-general of India-Taipei Association that serves as India's consular office in the Taiwanese capital, told IANS here.

Taiwan, the self-ruled democratic island claimed by China, boasts of $17,000 per capita income, but has a burgeoning middle class that is stuck to scooters and want now to move on to economy cars.

Rawat said he met Huang a while ago and found him excited by Tata Nano. Due to space constraints and environmental considerations, Tata Nano may just be the car this aspiring class is looking for, he said.

Tagged as the "people's car", the basic Nano model costs around $2,500. Tata Motors is eying a global market and planning a new model for the European market to satisfy its stringent emission standards.

Huang, however, feels that price alone would not guarantee Nano's success in Taiwan and made it clear that the TECO Group, better known for its industrial motors and home appliances, will only sell the car if its specifications conform to Taiwan's regulations and requirements.

TECO has provided Tata Motors with Taiwan's automobile safety requirements as a reference and is waiting for the results of the Indian carmaker's assessment.

"If the cars cannot be customized in India for Taiwan's market, they will have to be modified in Taiwan after being delivered," said Huang.

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