Sri Lanka has become the first international market for the Tata Nano, with the people’s car being commercially launched in the country. The introduction of the Tata Nano in international markets comes on the Golden Jubilee of Tata Motors’ international business which too began with Sri Lanka in 1961 in association with Diesel & Motor Engineering PLC (DIMO), the company’s distributor.
In the 50th year of its presence in Sri Lanka and partnership with DIMO, Tata Motors is also introducing in the country five new commercial vehicles – Tata Divo luxury coaches and semi low-floor air-conditioned Tata Marcopolo buses for passenger transportation and, for cargo movement, the Tata Prima 4928 tractor-trailor, Tata 1618 truck and the Tata Super Ace, a high-end variant from the Tata Ace family. Tata Motors is already the market leader in commercial vehicles in Sri Lanka.
Speaking on the introduction of the Tata Nano in Sri Lanka, Carl-Peter Forster, Managing Director and Group CEO of Tata Motors, noted, “Tata Motors has already established a firm footprint in international markets. We will now scale up on this foundation, judiciously choosing appropriate geographies and addressing unmet consumer needs with our portfolio. The Tata Nano will play a major role in the next phase of growth of our international business.”
P.M. Telang, Managing Director – India Operations of Tata Motors, said, “The stupendous international response to the unveiling of the Tata Nano in 2008 established that customers across the world were awaiting such a car. With the launch in Sri Lanka we begin that journey. We have already formulated plans for its introduction in several countries, to be implemented over the next few years.”
Ranjith Pandithage, the Chairman of Diesel & Motor Engineering PLC, said, “The Tata Nano is a marvel in automotive engineering. We in DIMO are proud to bring it to Sri Lanka. Customers in Sri Lanka too will now have the joy and the benefit of a stylish, feature-rich small car. The 50th year of partnership between Tata Motors and DIMO is a momentous occasion and we are committed to taking the business to new heights.”
In the last 50 years, Tata Motors has exported over 516,000 vehicles across the world from its portfolio of trucks, buses, passenger cars and utility vehicles. In 2010-11, the company exported 58,044 vehicles, the highest ever. Tata Motors’ vehicles are exported to about 40 countries, in South Asia, South East Asia, West Asia, Africa, Europe and South America. Besides, the Tata Motors Group’s international business also includes Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicle Company in South Korea, Tata Motors (Thailand) Limited, Tata Hispano Motors Carrocera SA in Spain and Tata Motors (SA) (Proprietary) in South Africa. Tata Motors itself has franchisee/JV assembly operations in Ukraine, Russia, Bangladesh and Senegal.
To Sri Lanka, Tata Motors has thus far exported over 69,000 commercial and passenger vehicles. The company’s portfolio of commercial vehicles in the country comprises the entire range from sub 1-tonne small trucks to 49-tonne prime movers and from 14-seater buses to luxury coaches, while the passenger vehicles portfolio, starting in 2004, already includes Tata Indica Vista, Tata Indica Vista 90, Tata Indigo CS, Tata Indigo Manza and the Tata Safari. In association with DIMO, Tata Motors has already established a Technical Training Institute in Jaffna and begun work on a Driver Training School in Hambantota as part of community development initiatives.