Tata Unveils World's
Cheapest Car less than $2500 at India Expo
"I observed families riding on two-wheelers
— the father driving the scooter, his young kid standing
in front of him, his wife seated behind him holding a little baby.
It led me to wonder whether one could conceive of a safe, affordable,
all-weather form of transport for such a family," .....Tata
The Nano, at about half the cost of the cheapest
car now on the road, could bring automobile ownership to thousands
of people who have been able to afford only a motor scooter, company
At about 10 feet long and 5 feet wide, the car accommodates four
large adults comfortably, automotive reporter Murad Ali Baig told
NPR — and it comes in a variety of colors.
It meets all safety and environmental requirements, Tata said.
And, in these days of escalating gas prices, it gets a respectable
50 mpg and has lower emissions levels than the scooters now produced
The Tata said the car will go on sale later this year. It initially
will be sold in India.
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world's cheapest car: $2,467
By Financial Times
Tata Motors (TTM, news, msgs) is set to unveil the world's cheapest
car as early as January as it takes the growing interest in low-cost
vehicles to a new extreme.
The Indian automaker will launch its $2,467 vehicle by the third
quarter of 2008 and may unveil it at January's Auto Expo in New
Delhi, Managing Director Ravi Kant said.
Separately, Tata Motors is developing a line of small hatchbacks
and midsize sedans to be introduced next year. India produces
1.3 million cars a year. With the market growing at 10% to 12%
per year, this could reach 3 million within a decade.
The four-door car -- a pet project of Tata Group Chairman Ratan
Tata -- would be the cheapest by far in its class. The current
cheapest, the Maruti 800 produced by Suzuki Motor (SZKMF, news,
msgs), sells for more than $4,000.
Tata's progress is being watched by automakers, including Toyota
Motor (TM, news, msgs), General Motors (GM, news, msgs) and Ford
Motor (F, news, msgs), that are developing, or have launched,
cheap cars in India, Russia, China and other emerging markets.
Carlos Ghosn, Renault/Nissan's chief executive, said the group
was working on an even cheaper variant of the Logan, the global
no-frills sedan it launched in April in India, where it sells
for under $10,000.
Tata's car will not conform to European safety and emissions
norms. However, Tata, which also sells cars in South Africa and
a few European markets, said it could be upgraded should it choose
'A good-looking car'
Competitors are skeptical about the price and quality of the car,
which the group says will have a 600-cubic-centimeter engine and
come in a range of models. MSNBC reported that the 33-horsepower
engine will be capable of 80 mph. Tata developed the car using
lower-cost Indian engineers and "out-of-the-box solutions"
to slash development and production costs.
Rising prices of steel, aluminum, copper and other commodities
raised the car's costs in the four years since Tata announced
it, prompting the group to make design changes for the car. However,
Kant said: "It will be a good-looking car which you will
want to purchase."
Construction on the plant in West Bengal, where the car will
be made, was delayed by a land dispute. However, Tata was on track
to launch the vehicle in the second to third quarter of 2008,
The plant will have a capacity of 250,000 units per year, which
Tata aims to reach within two to three years. Large sales volume
will be crucial for the car's viability, given its low price target.
This article was reported and written by John Reed, Amy Yee and
Joe Leahy for the Financial Times.