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Date with Tata car on Jan 10

Dec. 19: Tata Motors will unveil its small car at the Delhi Auto Expo on January 10, 2008. The commercial launch will take place later in the year.

Touted to be the world’s cheapest car, which could sell for Rs 1 lakh, the unveiling of the “People’s Car” is being considered crucial for the success of Tata Motors.

“In keeping with our tradition of unveiling cars at the Auto Expo, we will present the People’s Car at a special ceremony on January 10. The commercial launch will take place later in 2008,” the company said.

Sources said the car could have a soft launch in April. The first car is likely to roll out from makeshift arrangements at Pantnagar in Uttarakhand where Tata Motors manufactures the Ace, the popular mini pick-up. However, the arrangement will continue for only a couple of months as all the components will have to be transported from elsewhere. The Singur plant is likely to begin production in June.

Tata Motors and Fiat India Automobile will be participating jointly in the 9th Auto Expo that begins on January 9, 2008. Their pavilion will cover an area of more than 5,200 square metres. While Tata Motors will display a range of new passenger vehicles, Fiat will showcase cars from its international range. Car lovers can look out for the Fiat Grande Punto, which will hit the Indian roads next year. Fiat will also showcase its Linea sedan.

In commercial vehicles, Tata Motors will display buses from the joint venture with Marcopolo of Brazil, newly developed multi-axle heavy trucks, pickup vehicles, applications of panel vans and new mini-trucks. Two-wheeler major Bajaj Auto, which also plans to come out with a $3000-car (Rs 1.2 lakh) in 2010, may showcase its concept car.

Dilip Chenoy, director-general of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, said, “The decision to launch a model on any specific day during the auto expo rests with the companies. As organisers, we ensure that there is no overlapping of timings, so that everybody gets an opportunity to see the launch.”

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