Mike Stevens | Apr 8, 2009
Chairman of the Tata Group, Ratan Tata comes out of the new Tata "Nano" car in New Delhi, 10 January 2008.

Nano pre-order sales officially began on the first of April and already over 51,000 orders have been registered. The first randomly selected owners however won’t receive their cars until deliveries begin in July.

Waydahminnit, randomly selected owners?

That's right. As the launch of Tata’s super-cheap Nano approached, the Indian company was well aware that demand would outstrip supply. So, to make the process fairer (and avoid punch-ups, biting and eye-gouging at Tata dealerships) the car maker created a 'clever' ordering system to help sort the initial ordering chaos.

To get themselves in the queue, customers had to place a pre-order for their Nano using a booking form. The forms were then collected and collated, loaded into a database, and the first 100,000 customers to receive a Nano will be those randomly selected by computer.

2009-tata-nano-deluxe

Order forms cost 300 rupees (AUD$8.40) and the Nano itself earns the mantle of world cheapest car by being priced between 95,000 and 145,000 Rupees (AUD$2670 to $4075).

2009-tata-nano-seating-buck

It appears the Nano's success is virtually secured before a single car has been delivered. For the first time ever, low-income Indian families will be able to afford a real car instead of the scooters and motorcycles currently favoured as transport.

Critics of the car have voiced concerns that the cars affordability will equate to a massive environmental impact on the environment. Conversely supporters claim the safety benefits of putting families into an enclosed vehicle will have a positive effect on society.

Either way, Tata knows it has a huge success on its hands and is doing all it can to ensure a smooth delivery process for potential owners.

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