Tata Motors plans to open exclusive showrooms for its small car Nano in smaller towns, taking a leaf out of its runaway success mini truck Ace, which is also sold through 600 standalone stores along with normal dealerships across the country.
"We are exploring appointing full-fledged dealerships, only for the Tata Nano, in small towns," a Tata Motors spokesperson told PTI.
He, however, did not share any further detail on when it is likely to appoint the first exclusive dealer and how many such stores will be opened in total across the country.
"The general approach of taking a vehicle closer to where the customer is, was a learning from the Tata Ace, which too, since its launch has been made available through dedicated outlets, in addition to our regular commercial vehicle showrooms," the official said.
At present Tata Motors has 600 Ace-only showrooms across small towns in India, while Nano is available through the company's 617 regular outlets.
In addition, customers can have an experience of the car at 210 access points, besides being made available through about 151 Tata Authorised Service Centres.
Also, the company has recently started selling the small car, known as Rs 1 lakh wonder, in select Big Bazaar stores across the country.
"We believe that there is synergy in the customer segment being targeted by Tata Nano and the Future Group through their Big Bazaar outlets," the spokesperson said.
After a spate of fire incidences, followed by the company asking customers to bring back their Nanos last year to get fitted additional safety devices free of costs, sales of the car in the last four months have been increasing.
Sales of Nano stood at 5,784 units in December, 2010. It grew to 6,703 units January and then to 8,262 units in February this year. The car's sales further increased to 8,707 units in last month.
The positive trend was witnessed after Nano's sales recorded a massive decline to 509 units in November, 2010 from 3,065 units sold in the previous month. Its sales stood at 5,520 units in September last year.
With sales picking up Tata Motors is looking for fresh production capacity as its Sanand facility is likely to run full capacity in "a few months".
"...within a few months time we will be running the full capacity of 20,000 units per month at the Sanand plant," Tata Motors Vice-President (Commercial) Passenger Car Business Unit R Ramakrishnan had said earlier this month.
Since its delivery started in July, 2009, the company has so far sold 1,00,782 units of the Nano. Of this, 70,432 units were sold in 2010-11.