We also recognize there is a market (for the Nano) not only in developing countries, but possibly in the developed countries. For the United States we need a car which has a larger engine and we need additional crash test modifications and we are in the process of doing it.
Ratan Tata at today’s India Auto Expo [via Automotive News [sub]], suggesting that the world’s cheapest car could eventually be sold in the US. Fiat is already partnering with Tata to jointly sell the Nano in Latin American markets, so there’s a chance that the Indian city car could eventually show up at Chrysler dealerships.
Speaking of possible US-bound developing-market-mobiles, an Automotive News [sub] reporter spoke to several Volvo dealers asking whether they’d consider selling Chinese vehicles once Ford sells the Swedish brand to Geely. The response was understandably less than effusive:
Until this deal goes down, I’m not even thinking about selling a Geely car. With these deals — look at what happened with Saab — it’s all pure speculation until it happens.
After all, Volvo has been sold on its Swedish premiumness for so long, few dealers would be enthused to overly associate their dealerships with Chinese brands (like lead©, melamine® and slave labor™). India, on the other hand, doesn’t have the knee-jerk negative connotations in this country that Chinese goods do. For now. The launch of the Mahindra brand (if it ever happens) will be crucial in paving the way for acceptance of Indian brand names in the US, but the Chinese don’t yet have a clear vanguard brand. Given its rolling punchlines like the GE, Geely would make a poor first Chinese brand in America.