Would you drive this car?

More importantly, would you buy and drive this car?

Tata Motors May Launch Nano In America: Special Editions In The Works

Efficient, light, and affordable. That is the philosophy behind the Tata Nano, the world’s cheapest car, and one of the smallest as well. Launched earlier this year in Tata’s home market of India, the Nano is a lesson in minimalism, with a trunk that doesn’t open, a single wiper blade, and a number of other cost cutting features that keep its price down to just $2,160. Yes, you can buy a brand new car for just over $2,000 American dollars in India.

In fact, you might be able to buy one here in the good old U.S.A. in a few years. Reuters is reporting that Tata is considering selling the Nano right here in America. The question is, would Americans buy it?
I am thinking that if they managed to keep it under about 5 grand and it was road safe it would be an awesome commuting car and even better as that first car for a kid.

Fuel consumption? 61 mpg highway and 51 mpg city.

That is some crazy good gas mileage already AND... They are talking about an electric or hybrid version. And given that they are unveiling "His and Hers" versions, His will be Wild Lime outside and leathery inside while Hers will be Cocktail Red and flowery inside and out, a matching set could be seen in a lot of driveways at a low enough price.

In other car news... Toyota is unveiling a Baby Prius that will be a bit smaller and about 3 grand cheaper than its older hybrid sibling.


CT Bob said...

"Would you drive this car?"

Hell, I doubt that I can even FIT in that car!

I've read a little about the car, and it's so ridiculously cheap only because of India's extremely lax safety and pollution standards. Over here it would be much more expensive to bring up to standards, probably approaching the neighborhood of the cheapest existing car models.

Connecticut Man1 said...

Part of why it is expected to cost a little more here... Has to pass inspection by the crash test dummies, etc. before it could be licensed and sold here.

Jolly Roger said...

Thanks to the moronic monkey's policies, we have a vast swath of poor people who are never going to be able to afford what Detroit, or even Tokyo, are selling. If they can find a way to keep this around $5000.00, it'll sell-not because people are ga-ga over them, but because people will be able to live with them.

Connecticut Man1 said...

The one issue that no President can control is the problem with Peak Oil. We are there (probably have been for a while) and the fact that more people want oil than can be pulled out of the earth (regardless of untapped reserves) means that the cost of oil will eventually skyrocket and continue to go up in the markets in a volatile way.

The cost of the car will be irrelevant pretty soon and people may as well get used to the idea of tiny little cars now. The sooner the better. At least, until they develop a big car that runs on something else.

BadTux said...

The original Nano would never pass U.S. crash testing. The version of the Nano that would come to the USA would be the Nano Europa, which is larger and heavier and more expensive than the base Nano (projected to be $6,000 in Europe). But here in America it would probably not sell too well. If you have the option of buying a used 5 year old Toyota Corolla for $6,000, or a new Nano for $6,000, most people would buy the Corolla -- it has more room, is just as reliable, etc. Same reason the Yugo didn't do well in the USA -- most people who looked at it decided to buy a better-quality used car instead.

Connecticut Man1 said...

If I had the choice between an old Toyota Corolla and and a new car with better gas mileage?

In this day and age and forever on forward... The gas mileage will likely be a game-breaker.

We are still a shrinking economic power at the same time that we have hit peak oil. Many may not realize this now but by the time that car is on the market the reality may have sunk in.

BadTux said...

I just checked my local CraigsList to find out the price of used cars. You can get a used three-year-old Toyota Yaris -- 30mpg city (real life) -- for $6,000 here. It performs better, is more comfortable, and has more room than the Tata Nano Europa, which is expected to get about 35mpg city. And Toyotas are bricks -- they will easily get you 10 years or 250,000 miles before needing any major service to the engine or transaxle, the only two critical items in the car.

Like I said, we've been here before. People just don't buy based on fuel economy alone, even where fuel is very expensive like in Europe. The Mini is outselling the Smart car by a factor of three in Europe, despite fuel being very expensive there and the two cars being approximately the same price. A three year old Toyota is simply a better car than any Tata Nano derivative ever will be, roomier, performs better, more comfortable, still quite frugal, and I expect the Nano Europa to sell here in America about as well as the Yugo did (or like the Smart does now) -- i.e., dismally.