We now have photos of Tata’s inexpensive small car, dubbed the “Tata Nano” and it kind of puts a smile on your face. The design language is in the same space as the Mercedes Smart car and the old Italian Isetta. Check it out.
Tata says the Nano gets about 50 miles to the gallon and plans to bring out a diesel version. This is very good mileage and I’m still hoping Tata brings out an all-electric version as well.
At about 10 feet long, the Nano is 20% smaller than the cheapest car on the Indian roads right now, the Maruti Suzuki 800. The four-door, five passenger (if you’re skinny I think) car has a rear-mounted, 634 cc engine that gives 33 bhp. It’s priced at 1 lakh but will cost somewhat more when taxes are included.
I don’t yet know who did the designing of the Tata Nano but in the past, Tata worked with Italy’s Institute of Development in Automotive Engineering in styling it’s passenger and commercial vehicles.
Tata plans to make 250,00 initially and expects to sell 1 million annually. The Indian auto market is very hot, as growth lifts incomes and wealth in the country. Ford, Nissan, Fiat, Suzuki, Renault are all planning to increase production in the Nano space over the next couple of years. Think of 10 million additional cars on Indian roads in five years.
As for the US, I have a question. If all the gas-guzzling SUVs on US roads were replaced by Tata Nanos getting 50 mph, would the US meet its obligations under the Kyota Accords? Just asking.
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