The Little Engine That Would
Tata Nano could be in the U.S. within 3 years
And while we're not sure about the size of the market for an ultra-ultra-small (and, let's face it, sort of goofy-looking) car like the Nano, one aspect is sure to pique more than a few car shoppers' interest: The price. Currently listed at only $2,500, the Nano would far and away be the cheapest mass-produced car on the road.
The Nano was originally designed for developing countries, such as India, which is currently the car's only market. However, speaking at the New Delhi Auto Show, the Indian company's chairman, Ratan Tata, said that developed countries such as the U.S. could also be viable. In order to be legally sold in the States, the Nano would have to pass more stringent safety standards, a goal that is being pursued, according to Tata. A U.S. version would also have a bigger engine.
Tata Motors acquired luxury marques Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford for $2.3 billion in 2008; while none of us should expect to see the Nano parked next to an XK behind the glass of a Jag showroom, it does mean that the Indian carmaker has an established dealer network in the U.S., which means bringing a new model stateside would be a matter of expansion, rather than building from the ground up -- a much easier prospect for Tata.
(Source: The Detroit Free Press.)
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