Europe and US to get uber-cheap Tata Nano in a few years

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Nano

The Tata Nano, the world's cheapest car, is heading to the U.S. and Europe in the next few years. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Indian car conglomerate Tata Motors is known for making the Nano, the world’s cheapest car, as well as owning Jaguar and Land Rover. The Tata Nano costs only $2,500 brand new and the bare-bones box on tiny wheels is getting redesigned before going on sale in more European countries and the United States in a few years.

Tato Nano moving up to the big leagues

The Tata Nano got famous for following a similar formula to the Volkswagen Beetle, albeit the original not the gaudy hipster-mobile currently wearing the badge. It’s bare-bones simple, consisting of little more than a small engine, four seats, a steering wheel and not much else. It’s also, like the original Beetle, cheap as all get out, in fact the cheapest car in the world.

It isn’t as if anyone needs auto refinancing on a car that costs $2,500 new.

Some people have been wondering if it will ever get exported anywhere else, say to Europe or the United States, where few new cars are attainable by people of modest means. It turns out that yes, according to USA Today, the Nano is indeed getting redesigned to get sold in those areas.

Redesign to fit regulations

In order to get sold in the United States and European countries, the Tata Nano has to get a whole bunch of stuff to meet emissions and safety regulations. To get a Tata Nano U.S.A. approved, it needs to have a traction control system and airbags, among a few other things.

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The redesigned version is going to be quite a bit different than the current version. The current Nano has a 37-horsepower, two-cylinder engine. The Nano that will eventually go on sale in Europe and the U.S., however, is going to get a much more powerful motor. It will also get power steering and traction control.

Along with the new equipment comes a higher price tag, which is slated to at least triple. Nano is shooting to keep the car at or under $10,000 for the base model. As far as selling it, according to AutoGuide, Tata is looking into what to do about establishing a dealership network. It could be the cars get sold at Land Rover or Jaguar dealerships, since Tata owns both, but it could also not be the case. It’s projected to be on-sale in three years.

Still dirt cheap

Assuming the Tato Nano comes in at $10,000, that still makes it about the cheapest new car a person can buy. One of the closest is the Nissan Sentra, which starts at $11,990 before destination charge.

However, the car has had some teething problems In December 2011, according to Inside Line, Tata recalled about 140,000 Nanos to replace faulty starter motors. Some pictures went around the web of some Nanos that had caught fire, but according to Car Advice, an Australian car review site, the company found in 2010 that the fires were caused by aftermarket electrical and exhaust components installed by owners. However, Tata did start offering a “safety package” free to owners that would reduce fire risks.

Sources

USA Today

AutoGuide

InsideLine

Car Advice: http://www.caradvice.com.au/91263/tata-nano-gets-free-safety-option-no-recall-after-investigation-into-fires/

Nissan: http://www.nissanusa.com/versa-sedan?next=header.vehicles.postcard.vlp.image

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