Ganesh Gaikwad (name changed on request) has been working at a Tata Motors outlet in the central suburbs of Mumbai for more than two years now.
But none of the company's models during this period excited him as much as the Nano, which is targeted at the first-time car buyers.
But Gaikwad, who plans to buy a Nano himself, is surprised by the sheer number of second-time car buyers making him calls and personal visits for purchasing the people's car. About 900 customers express their desire to own a Nano every month. On some days, he even gets as many as 150 prospective buyers.
"Most people who visit the showroom are people who want to book as many as four to five Nanos. These people come with cheque books in hand," says Gaikwad.
Surprisingly, the demand from second-time car buyers outstrips the demand from those seeking to upgrade themselves from two-wheelers.
Tata Motors' city dealers say about 60 per cent of all Nano buyers are those who already own a car and the rest 40 per cent are those who either own a two-wheeler or have never owned a vehicle earlier.
The car maker's official Web site for inquiries on Nano has received 22.2 million hits as of June 13, more than four-fold jump from five million hits the page got six months earlier. Tata Motors' plant in Singur will have a capacity of 250,000 units a year in the first phase of expansion, which will be gradually raised to 350,000 units in the second phase.
Auto analysts suggest that Tata Motors may not be able to generate more than three to four per cent on net profit margin and five to six per cent on EBIDTA margin on the model. The car may take four years to break even.