By on December 14, 2009

Think smaller & cheaper. Much  smaller & cheaper. Picture courtesy shoppingreps.com

Let’s get small: The new 50:50 joint venture between China’s SAIC and GM may plan to launch an entry-level low-cost car for the Indian market, say’s India’s Wheels Unplugged.

The mini made by monsters would cost between $3,500-4,000, and could also be unleashed upon Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa and even possibly back to China.

India is the world’s second fastest-growing auto market, and is dominated by small, affordable cars. SAIC and GM will use GM’s two local manufacturing facilities (at Talegaon near Pune and Halol near Baroda) and a power-train facility, and GM India’s nationwide distribution network.

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14 Comments on “Yet Another NanoSwatter. By GM And SAIC...”


  • avatar
    CarPerson

    At least it looks like a car instead of a glorified golf cart.

  • avatar
    Nutsaboutcars

    In the US there is no need for a $4,000 car, as there are plenty of lightly used cars that are far, far superior than these POS will ever be. Back in the 80s, YUGO was selling for $4,000 and the old, terrible Hyundai Excel for $5,000 (today these amounts are equivalent to double these amounts at least)
     
    But in india, I very much doubt that there is any seriosu number of used Honda Civics and Fits or Toyota Corollas and Yarises.

  • avatar
    Nutsaboutcars

    If I were a consumer in India, and thank GOD I am not, Instead of these silly little bare-bones cars, that do not get Prius MPG either, BTW, I would demand that India allows the importation, with NO fees and duties of any kind, of used cars like the above from all over the world. A far better use of used cars in the US and Europe than to smash them under stupid CFC wasteful programs. A used civic or corolla or even fit or Yaris would look to the Nano-Maruti-Insert other POS here-owner like a Mercedes E class minimum!

    • 0 avatar
      PeteMoran

      @ Nutsaboutcars
       
      They drive on the left (RHD) in India (well, sort-of….mostly). The used cars you mention wouldn’t be coming from the USA or Europe, so the supply is likely to be not very great.
       
      Besides which, the energy cost of operating older cars is definitely not what the Indian nation needs. They need light, low power engined cars (if they “need” them at all).

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      Then you would have to have part for the cars, which doesn’t really help the situation.  Sure you may get a good deal on the car, but when you have to import every part (including small stuff like oil filters and air filters), it may not make too much sense.  Also, the local production of the cars will the economy there.

    • 0 avatar
      CarPerson

      No question the C4C was horribly wasteful on about every level possible.

      However, after trashing the engine, the vehicles were sold at auction to the highest bidder. Many were sold for scrap-steel prices after some recyclables were removed (GM mid-size has noting worth salvaging) but many were dismantled with everything but some engine internals racked for later sale.

  • avatar

    I’d certainly rather get a used honda or toyota than one of these things, but my guess is there would be a market for these cars in the US if they were imported. Maybe even a fairly big one.

  • avatar
    Nutsaboutcars

    I sure agree that building the Nano in india will greatly help develop its economy. I am a big fan of the Nano as a replacement of these scooters and 3-cycles that have entire families hanging from them like a bunch of grapes. I question their export potential in the US and European markets, and there should be so much demand for a $2-4,000 car in India and other developing economies that they will be busy making them by the million for those markets.
     
    But the Nano has to be reliable, and I am still not convinced that all the cost-cutting has left a durable car and not a flimsy toy that will fail at the slightest tough driving situation. They already had to re-work the nano to deal with the Steering catching fire recently. And the production is still very tiny.

    • 0 avatar
      Roundel

      All I have seen come out of your argument is hemming and hawing about micro cars and your percieved view that they are worthless and should not be driven on U.S. roads or any roads in the world for that matter.
      Putting aside the smug comment about the smart and other small cars in the U.S., your argument isn’t valid.
      Just because sales numbers don’t represent the pinnacle of toasteresque numbers of the Camry and Accord, doesn’t mean there isnt a place for them in the automotive food chain.  If you were “nuts about cars” you would love the variety and uniqueness that small cars like the smart and fit bring about to the automotive landscape. Instead you sound like a curmudgeon from Consumer Reports.

      All that aside, your “recomendations” for the Indian market are naive at best, and absurdly stupid in reality. The population density in India is much more than even places like Manhattan, there is literally no space for people, let alone cars. Cars like the Civic look like mid 70′s land yachts in Indian traffic. What India needs to make sure its growth is manageable is a middle class that buys cars that are appropriate for the enviroment that they live in, and fuel sipping cheap to own Sub-Sub compacts would fit that bill perfectly.
      Tata is no fool and designed his car to deal with the atrocious infrastructure of India. Once he is able to crank these out in real numbers, they will be India’s version of the Beetle, no question.

    • 0 avatar
      rnc

      Mostly autosavant seems to be down on India. 

  • avatar
    Roundel

    The entire first half of my post is of course invalid when you edit and delete the majority of the content in your posts.  Calling the smart  “dumb” and asserting that people who drive one are in turn as well,  was enough reasons for me to hit reply. 
     I was simply countering your arguments with the tone you set in that post. 

    But to remain on topic, and to reiterate my point.  You base the possible failure of the Nano on its reliability and durability.  That point can be considered moot on some levels.  Testing has been done, and just like any new model there will be issues. But the Indian car market at the bottom of the barrel is not full of direct competition and it would take alot for the Nano to become shunned in the marketplace.

  • avatar
    midelectric

    4 too many lugnuts and double the windshield wipers necessary? FAIL.
     

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    Sorry, you can’t pull one over on me.  Nothing made by GM can be called a “something-something Swatter”. 

    Besides, it still remains to be seen if GM will survive.  You know, as a “going concern.”


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