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Tata is remaking Nano for the U.S. and Europe

Tata Nano

The Tata Nano is the cheapest car in the world and it is meant exclusively for the Indian market, however it would appear that the no-frills minicar will be heading for the United States in about three years time, according to Ratan Tata, the billionaire boss of the Tata Group.

In an interview he mentioned that the U.S. is “a very enticing market” and that they’re working on redesigning the Nano for both the U.S. and Europe.

These new versions of the Nano will have to be considerably more sophisticated than the ultra-cheap version that is marketed in India – an ultra-cheap version which has pretty much flopped despite a lot of hype.

One has to understand though that more ‘bells and whistles’ when it comes to the Nano refers to things like power steering and traction control – the most standard of features for most markets – as well as a bigger engine, however the vehicle will still be priced below the $10,000 mark.

That’s all very well and good, competition tends to be a good thing, however you can only compete on a market if you have a distribution network in place, or in this case a retail network, and Tata has no such thing in the U.S.

The Nano was developed to be an alternative for scooters in India – which are very popular and not very safe – the vehicle is four-seater, 122 inches long with a two-cylinder, rear-mounted engine which develops 37 hp.

The thinking behind his America ‘gambit’ is that the Smart and the Fiat 500 actually have higher sticker prices than the Nano will, but people still buy them because they are small cars, so he’s helpful that a sub-$10,000 car will garner some attention.

Returning to the point we made earlier about distribution, Tata said that some serious thought will go into how the vehicle will be distributed, although we should mention that Tata Group also owns Jaguar and Land Rover, so it is at least theoretically possible to use those dealers to sell the Nano, time will tell.

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