Telco's indigenous small car, Indica, which was launched on 30 December 1998, continues to hog the limelight. When the seven-day booking period for the car ended on 23 January 1999, there were 1,15,238 prospective buyers for the 10,000 vehicles on offer in the first phase ending March 1999.
All of them had paid Telco the full cost of the vehicle, which, according to initial estimates, would have made the company richer by about Rs 3,600 crore. Interest at a nominal 4 per cent would fetch the company Rs 140 crore annually.
Telco has announced that it will do away with the second round of bookings. Instead, the company will accept 50,000 bookings from the current lot for the second round of priority allotments to be made on a random basis.The company will communicate this to its customers in the first week of February, giving them the option to retain or surrender their bookings.
Telco has plans to sell 10,000 cars in the year ending March 1999. The sales target for 1999-2000 is 40,000,and for 2000-2001 it is 60,000. Deliveries in the second phase will begin in April/May 1999.
The company will pay interest at the rate of 11 per cent per annum from 1 February till the date of delivery to customers who decide to retain their bookings and are among those selected in the second round. Those who are not selected will be paid interest at 10 per cent from 1 February till the date of refund. Customers cancelling bookings in the second round will also be eligible for interest at 11 per cent per annum.
Mr V.M. Raval, executive director (automobiles), Telco, said that 75 per cent of the total bookings are for the diesel air-conditioned version of the car, 15 per cent for the diesel deluxe version, and five per cent each for the diesel standard and petrol standard versions.
The ex-showroom price of various versions of the car in Mumbai are:
1. standard petrol: Rs 2,63,300
2. standard diesel: Rs 2,90,400
3. diesel air-conditioned: Rs 3,00,800,
4. diesel deluxe: Rs 3,99,800.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government has said it will ask the State Industrial and Investment Corporation of Maharashtra (SICOM) to appraise the Indica project for formal sanction of a 10 per cent sales tax exemption for two years. The tax exemption is being offered on account of the investment of Rs 1,700 crore made in the project.