Tata's European Vacation

Martin Schwoerer
by Martin Schwoerer

Last year, here in Geneva, the Tata Nano was the sensation, and not only for those who thought a two thousand dollar car for the developing-country masses was world-changing. This year, the sensation is that the Nano is for the rest of us, too—at least for those of us with empty pockets and miniscule automotive requirements.

The Europa looks like a pimped Nano: endearingly odd, amoebic, functional and like nothing else. Inside, there is incredibly cheap looking leather and plastic and four electric windows, The technical differences to the basic Nano are manifold: a three-pot engine with automatic transmission, power steering, ABS, ESP, airbags. The philosophy, said a Tata spokesman, is the same: a car that meets all regulations and the most essential customer preferences.

It should be on the European market in 2011 at a price point of around five thousand euros, which is around 25% lower than any other car today. Tata, incidentally, is not promising that price, but guarantees it will be the most affordable car on the market. To this Genevan correspondent, the Europa looks like a revolution.

Martin Schwoerer
Martin Schwoerer

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4 of 19 comments
  • Kurt. Kurt. on Mar 05, 2009

    I just used M$ Paint to edit the pic and removed about 6 inches below the door handles; basically removing the license plate. Now THAT's a cool little car! (I would post it but my art skills are embarrassing.)

  • Stingray Stingray on Mar 05, 2009

    In Iran the Logan is sold as Renault Tondar90 I doubt the mexicans would fell comfortable with the Renault brand. The Symbol is sold up there as Nissan Platina. To me the branding strategy makes perfect sense: use the recognized brand, with established network in each country to sell the car. Instead, selling as a Dacia would require: new network, marketing money, customers recognition... and that takes years to develop, and money $$$$$. Add to the injury that Dacia comes from the old commie block... Dacia sold cars briefly in Venezuela. And even the latest one was ummmm, questionable... So it makes sense to sell the Logan as Renault here. Edit: just checked the mexican Nissan site. It's called Nissan Aprio. But, personally, I'd take a Tsuru over a Logan any day. In fact, if I were going to purchase a new car, I wouldn't even go to check that thing.

  • 7 7 on Mar 05, 2009

    Dacia had quite a bad reputation back in the days. And Renault is selling them as "Dacia by Renault" through Renault dealers in France and Belgium. When it was introduced in France salesmen were quite reluctant to sell them because their commission on the car was quite small (around 50 € if I remember correctly). Nevertheless it's an interesting car made of Clio bits and the "commercial" version (a station wagon without the rear windows) is quite a bargain to lease.

  • FromBrazil FromBrazil on Mar 07, 2009

    @hazard I read somewhere that in Mexico, Ranault is identified with Europe and Europe-style cars (read hatches), so Nissan, as a purveyor of Jap sedans, would be a better "fit" for a sedan...Go figure. @stingray Two things: You don't know what you're missing. Honestly, in its segment it is a very strong contender (piense Siena pero más grande). Renault has been basically putting all that cash into Brazil. I mean, before starting to produce here they had a very limited cache. AFAIK they have never made a profit down here (with the exception of last year). Maybe they are a t a turning point as the Logan/Sandero turned them into an also-ran into a brand people actually remeber to cross shop.