Well, here’s an exciting follow-up to yesterday’s story about the launch of the new Tata Nano in India; Tata is looking to bring the $2,000 Nano to the U.S.
According to a report in the Financial Times, Tata boss Ratan Tata is hoping to take advantage of the worldwide recession by bringing affordable (and we mean REALLY affordable) cars to markets worldwide, including North America.
Tata told the Times that this decision is a serious one and that no one at the company is taking the possibility of expansion into the U.S. lightly. “The US is very unforgiving of mistakes,” he said.
As for meeting strict U.S. emissions and safety requirements, that actually shouldn’t be too difficult as Tata has already announced that it plans to sell the Nano in Europe in 2011.
That year could also be the first year of U.S. Nano sales.
As for the car itself, the Nano is powered by a 624cc 2-cylinder engine that makes just 35hp and 35 ft-lbs of torque. Tata claims an average fuel-economy rating of 55.5 mpg according to the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), giving it the highest rating of any gasoline car in India.
The car is tiny, just 10.2-feet long, 4.9-feet wide and 5.3-feet high, giving it the smallest dimensions of any vehicle on the road in India. It is, however, 21 percent more spacious inside than the current smallest car.
Despite the size, Tata insists the Nano is very safe due to a reinforced passenger compartment, crumple zones, intrusion resistant doors, as well as the mandatory seat belts. The Nano exceeds all safety requirements in India and even passes a roll-over test and offset impact test which are not required.
Tata did not release any info on what U.S. pricing would be, but it is expected to be significantly higher than the base $2,000 price, as base models in India come without heat or air conditioning.