Whether the Tata Nano reaches European, US and South African markets depends largely on it meeting EuroNCAP 4 safety levels, which the carmaker reckons is on the cards.
This means we could see the little mite on local roads as soon as next year.
In the meantime, Tata South Africa has confirmed four new model launches scheduled for this year.
Firstly, local buyers can expect the Super Ace light commercial vehicle towards the end of April, while a small bus (called the Venture in India but the name will change for SA) is expected here towards the middle of the year.
A mid-sized passenger car called the Manza will also be here by mid year; and the Aria SUV (in 4x2 and 4x4 guise) will land sometime in 2012 (production is currently being finalised).
Tata SA has also emphasised that it’s in South Africa for the long haul – with its truck plant in Rosslyn and 50 dealerships throughout the country testamony to this.
The company, which is part of the Associated Motor Holdings group, currently sells around 200 vehicles locally per month, but envisions growth with the new products arriving.
Tata also owns the Taj hotel in Cape Town, has interests in communications provider Neotel, owns a steel plant in Richards Bay, and has interests in the local IT and wristwatch sectors. -Star Motoring