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Tata's Low-Buck Nano Lives...Finally

By on March 24, 2009 9:59 AM
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The world's least expensive car, the Tata Nano, arrives today in selected showrooms in India. Originally slated to launch last October and priced from $1,983, the funky four-door/five-passenger rear-driver is a bit austere for most Western auto buyers. However, Tata Motors did grab a 2008 Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award in the 'Transportation' category for creating this inexpensive micro car for the masses. Measuring a mere 10 feet nose to tail, the base Nano does come with a 33 horsepower/634 cc/two-cylinder gasoline engine, a fuel gauge, speedometer, oil light and a single windshield wiper but dispenses with staples like a radio, air conditioning, power steering and airbags. Tata Motors had intended to sell about 250,000 Nanos in 2009, although the worldwide economic slump is expected to make coming anywhere near that ambitious goal virtually impossible. The automaker showed an upgraded version of the home-market Nano called the Europa at the Geneva Auto Salon earlier this month in the hopes of attracting a new segment of more price-conscious Euro fans when it launches there in 2011. So far, there are no plans to bring any Nano derivatives to the U.S.
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