Quote Of The Day: Coming To America Edition

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

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.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Superbadd75 Superbadd75 on Jan 05, 2010

    Chrysler had better be careful about selling the Nano next to the Caliber. People may see the interiors of the two, and expect the Caliber to be the cheaper model.

  • FreedMike FreedMike on Jan 05, 2010

    A Nano would be a complete deathtrap in the U.S. Of course, it's a deathtrap in India too, but since the alternatives are even worse deathtraps, they're more forgiving. Tata has a long way to go.

  • Chuck Goolsbee Chuck Goolsbee on Jan 05, 2010

    I find it ironic that American consumers consider all cars smaller than a Honda Civic to be "deathtraps".... While those same American consumers regard motorcycles as symbols of freedom.

  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Jan 05, 2010

    If I was Jack Roush, I'd bring a few Nanos to Livonia and develop performance accessories. With only 35HP, and Tata potentially selling huge numbers of Nanos, the market for performance parts may possibly be very large.