Page last updated at 11:28 GMT, Tuesday, 5 May 2009 12:28 UK

Tata takes 203,000 Nano orders

Nano car
The basis Nano model does away with luxury features

Tata Motors says it has received 203,000 orders for its Nano, the world's cheapest car, which went on sale last month.

India's largest vehicle maker said it received orders worth 25bn rupees ($510m; £340m) between 9 and 25 April.

However, production problems mean Tata will only be able to deliver 100,000 cars by the end of 2010.

The basic Nano costs 1 lakh, or 100,000 rupees ($2,025; £1,340), and a 95,000 rupees deposit must be paid up front.

Deliveries of the vehicle will start in July. Tata Motors said it would randomly select the people who would get the first shipment.

Some Indian analysts have said the company had been expecting even higher demand for the vehicle - which received huge publicity when the plans were unveiled last year.

The size of the deposit required, and the lack of a model to test drive, had held back some would-be consumers they said.

'Warm welcome'

Half of the orders were for the most deluxe version of the car, which comes with air conditioning and electric windows, and the remaining 30% for a mid-range model.

Tata said only 20% of customers opted for the cheapest version of the car.

The booking fee, or deposit, required for the deluxe model is 140,000 rupees, which has a full price of 185,000 rupees.

"Tata Motors places on record its gratitude to the people of India for according such a warm welcome to the Tata Nano," the company said.

Applicants have also had to pay up to 300 rupees for an application form.

Tata hopes the low-cost of the car will encourage millions of Indians to trade up from their motorcycles.

Currently, there are about nine cars per 1,000 people in India.

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