The (Fiat?) Nano Report

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
the fiat nano report

Tata's Nano will officially become the world's cheapest car when it hits the Indian market this October. Sure, Tata blew its 1 Lakh ($2,500) price target, thanks to rising steel costs, but demand is still expected to exceed supply. Or so says Tata Chairman Ratan Tata [via Automotive News, sub]. Judging by the number of variants said to be in development, Tata's putting his money where his mouth is. A diesel version is on the way, and electric or compressed-air models could be next. And adding eco-friendly drivetrains can only help if the Nano actually attempts a launch in Europe in four years, as is rumored. After all, as an EV the Nano's weaknesses (made of cardboard, rolls in crosswinds) are actually strengths (light, cheap). And at the price point, it's more than competitive with the Zap Xebras of the world (pending a convincing road test). This may be why Automotive News Europe (sub) reports that Fiat is considering selling the Nano. "We have held talks about the Nano being marketed in markets where Fiat has already a strong presence," says Ratan Tata. "I am open to consider a partnership." Which means we'll all be able to buy the Tata Nano with a Fiat badge at a MINI store in, say, 2010?

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4 of 12 comments
  • Robert Schwartz Robert Schwartz on Jul 25, 2008

    "thanks to rising steel costs" They got steel in that thing?

  • Lynn Ellsworth Lynn Ellsworth on Jul 26, 2008

    Note to Tata: IF the Nano can be beefed up to meet our safety standards, go 80 mph, and be sold for around $5,000 PLEASE sell it on eBay, Amazon, or Craig's List. Sell it through any channel except our damn car dealers.

  • Nicodemus Nicodemus on Jul 26, 2008

    to sitting@home: Tata actually own the Rover name as well as Land-Rover and Jaguar. It is quite possible they will use it on certain models.

  • Capeplates Capeplates on Jul 26, 2008

    Holiday in India every year. Looking at this ugly looking contraption and knowing the driving conditions in India there is no way you could tempt me to enter one of these death traps. Every India is a budding F1 driver. Built for Indians this is no vehicle for any western country