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Is the Tata Nano Headed to the U.S.?

by Jeff Bressler
March 25, 2009

I'm still trying to figure out the   phenomenon from a profit perspective for the dealers. Although the latest figures show Smart is sporting an 83% increase in sales over this time last year, I still wonder how dealers are making money.

The in my neck of the woods started as a pristine orderly campus with a nicely designed showroom and neatly lined up rows of the little car. After selling out their first year allotment the dealership started looking more like a quick change lube joint. Signs on the street were trying to lure customers in with general repair services for all kinds of cars and a lot filled with an eclectic assortment of for sale.

No real revelation here, just wondering how you can survive selling one small car in a few similar iterations. Nevertheless, for around $13,000 you can tool around locally in a car getting around 35 MPG, so it's not surprising that they can't build enough to satisfy the country's new penny pinching ways.

Keeping a close eye on the inexpensive small car market, in India is thinking about sending a version of its ultra-cheap to the United States. The company just launched, with much fanfare, the home grown version of the car in Mumbai with the sticker price of $1,980. No, I'm not missing a few numerals, that is the price, the world's cheapest car. Obviously to export the car to the U.S. and meet our much more stringent safety and emission standards .

. In addition to aiming at the Smart for micro size, the car would look to compete with the and the , the two current ultra-cheapies on the market.

Tata will have an uphill road to hoe. Even though the Nano can get right around 50 MPG, all the info released worldwide about the car reveals that the miniscule price is based on such amenities as one windshield wiper, a two cylinder engine that propels the Nano to a screaming 65 MPH and tubeless tires.


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