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Monday, November 30, 2009

Tata says plans Nano hybrid cars

Tata Group is planning to produce hybrid versions of its Nano, billed as the world's cheapest car, to join in the environment-friendly trend, its chairman said in an interview with a South Korean newspaper.

The Maeil Business Newspaper on Monday quoted Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata Group, as saying in Mumbai that low-priced goods would create stronger demand than high-end products in India, and the so-called low-price revolution would continue across the world.

Tata Motors, India's biggest vehicle maker, saw the car industry's future lying in economic-friendly models, the daily said.

The chairman did not elaborate on the possible launch of cheap hybrid versions.

The Nano, at about $2,000 per unit, was first delivered in India in July.

The 71-year-old chairman said he was considering exporting Tata Motors' light truck, Ace, to South Korea, and also assembling or manufacturing the model in its South Korean plant.

For new growth businesses, he picked biotechnology and bioengineering, saying Tata was looking for ways to enter the nutrient-enriched food market.

He added the group was interested in Vietnam and evaluating the U.S. market, in which it has yet to make active investments.

The Indian conglomerate is also studying investments in automobiles, software and hotel businesses as well as bio fuel in South American markets such as Brazil and Argentina.

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