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Tata will redo Nano for the US

The new Nano will be far more sophisticated than the ultracheap model that has flopped in India despite a world of hype. By Diana T. Kurylko

By AutoWeek Oct 15, 2012 12:26PM
The new Nano will be far more sophisticated than the ultra-cheap model that has flopped in India despite a world of hype. (© Photo courtesy of Autoweek)






A redesigned version of India's no-frills Nano minicar will come to the United States in three years, said Ratan Tata, the billionaire boss of that country's giant Tata Group. The U.S. is a very enticing market," Tata said in an interview. "We are redesigning the Nano for both Europe and the U.S."


He said the new Nano will be far more sophisticated than the ultra-cheap model that has flopped in India despite a world of hype.


It will get a bigger engine and "more bells and whistles," including such features as power steering and traction control. Tata said it will be priced below $10,000.


What the 74-year-old industrialist did not say is how he intends to sell it here. Tata has no U.S. retail network.


The existing Nano, an egg-shaped four-seater, was developed for India as an alternative to scooters. At 122 inches long, it is nearly two feet shorter than a Mini, and it has a two-cylinder, rear-mounted engine with 37 hp. Tata, whose company owns Jaguar and Land Rover, conceived the Nano as the world's cheapest car. It went on sale in 2009 with a price tag of about $2,500.


He said a car priced below $10,000 would have appeal in the United States.


"The Smart and the Fiat 500 have high sticker prices, and people buy them because they are small cars," said Tata at the opening of a Jaguar Land Rover dealership here. "But everyone knows you put a lot of money into it. We hope that the sub-$10,000 car has appeal."


Tata said it was "too premature," to talk about a U.S. sales channel for the Nano.


"We have to give a lot of thought to how we would distribute the car," he said.


Andy Goss, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover North America, said there have been no discussions about using Jaguar Land Rover dealers to sell the Nano.


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Oct 15, 2012 5:43PM
Oct 15, 2012 5:41PM

Im gonna buy one, it will be my NANO Racer!! I have big plans to create a following so we have nano meets and trips  and re-unions etc. It will have a cult following. Mark my words, I will make this happen... perfect car for high schoolers and collage kids, and to run to grocery store.  I wonder if there will be a hybrid version. Anyway, I will be one of the first to get my gruby lil hands n this cool machine. I will put custom rims,  I can see if rolling on 17's versus the 13" that it has. Then a navagation with a top of the line stereo. Im so excited to see this coming to America. Im starting to sve my monies now.


Nano,......Im your mano!!!!

Oct 15, 2012 5:41PM
i would buy it. I have a mini cooper that i love but i think i would try this new car.
Oct 15, 2012 5:39PM
I think this could be great around where I live, not much traffic and just back and forth to town. Delivery drivers etc........
Oct 15, 2012 5:39PM
I dint have a problem with it at all. I do have a problem with auto malls and a HUGE dealership on every block.
Make these available over the internet. If you want to SEE one, set up a very small one-two car network where the cars can be sent out for test drives.. BUT only available for purchase over internet..
Then make ALL the manufactures do the same......
We sure have done quite well with wasting resources by building HUGE Auto Malls, then filling them up with inventory.. What a WASTE!

Oct 15, 2012 5:39PM
Looks like safe enough to drive in a golf course. ;)
Oct 15, 2012 5:38PM
If you buy two of them they could double as an extra pair of roller skates!
Oct 15, 2012 5:37PM
Buy Made in USA or you are shipping jobs and American money abroad.
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