Less than a year after the launch of the Nano comes news that the car is going to have a hybrid and is even getting an exterior facelift. Talks of an electric version of the Nano have been in the air for a while now, but reports on Monday said Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Motors (TATAMOTORS.BO : 660.9 +31.4), told a South Korean newspaper about his interest to make his dream project join the environmental-friendly trend. However, the chairman did not elaborate on the possible timeline for the launch of the cheap hybrid versions.
Tata Motors shares closed at Rs 660.90, up 4.99%, on Monday on 30-11-2009 the BSE (^BSESN : 17198.27 +272.05).
At the 63rd annual general meeting of the company in Mumbai, the chairman had hinted at the subject and talked about the progressing work at the company on alternate fuel technology, including hybrids. He had said, “We are working on an eco-car in Thailand, electric vehicles and hybrids.”
The company also talks about use of bio-diesel and ethanol across Tata companies. Tata had also talked about a car project the company is working on with a France company, which will run on compressed air. He, however, expressed doubt about the project, saying “it may or may not happen”. Till October, the company has delivered 10,518 units. The Nano delivery had started in July this year.
Further, the newspaper quoted the company considering exporting Tata Motors’ light truck, Ace, to South Korea, and also assembling or manufacturing the model in its South Korean plant. Further, Tata was quoted saying that the group is interested in Vietnam and evaluating the US market, in which it is yet to make active investments.
The Indian conglomerate is also studying investments in automobiles, software and hotel businesses, as well as biofuel in South American markets such as Brazil and Argentina.