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Thailand to import the Tata Nano from India

MUMBAI, June 4 (TNA) — Visiting Thai Industry Minister Charnchai Chairungrueng said here on Thursday that Thailand is expected to import the price-competitive 650 cc Tata Nano brand manufactured by India’s Tata Motors soon.

Accompanied by Atchaka Brimble, secretary-general of the Thai Board of Investment (BoI), and several leading Thai businessmen, Mr. Charnchai, who is leading a roadshow to Mumbai, said he had also invited Tata Motors to establish a manufacturing plant to build the Nano in Thailand.

Tata Nano will be launched commercially next month and is priced between Bt80,000-150,000. If it could be produced in Thailand it could allow low-income earners in Thailand to buy it, said Mr. Charnchai.

Ajit Venkatraman, CEO of Tata Motors (Thailand) Ltd., said he is confident that the Tata Nano would receive a warm reception in Thailand.

The car has a maximum speed of 85 kilometres per hours, consumes one litre of gasoline every 22 kilometres,and plans are  to develop the car to Euro 4 and Euro 5 standards in future.

On a plan by Tata Motors to manufacture eco cars in Thailand, Mr. Venkatraman said the company needs to review the plan again due to the current global economic meltdown as its sales in India have already declined 60 per cent, causing a liquidity crunch for the company.

He urged the Thai government to find low-interest loans for the company as the eco car project requires an investment of more than Bt7 billion.

Mr. Venkatraman added he is also uncertain whether production requirements at 100,000 units annually would be too much, as the auto market has turned sluggish.

During talks with Mr. Charnchai, senior executives from Tata Motors also requested the Thai government lower the horsepower of one-tonne trucks required by the Thai government to 2,200 cc from 2,500 cc. The company does not produce the 2,500 cc trucks and, is therefore unable to join in bidding to supply smaller vehicles.

Mr. Charnchai said on his return to Thailand he would confer with the Thai Budget Bureau, Finance Ministry and economic ministers regarding the Tata Motors request.  (TNA) 

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