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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tata Motors' People's Car is officially named TATA NANO

Tata Motors today took the covers off the world’s cheapest car — the Nano.
Over the past year, Tata has been building hype for a car that would cost a mere 100,000 rupees (roughly $2,500) and bring automotive transportation to the mainstream Indian population. It has been nicknamed the “People’s Car.” Over the course of the New Delhi Auto Expo, which began this week, anticipation had grown to fever pitch.
With the theme from “2001: A Space Odyssey” playing, Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Motors drove the small white bubble car onto Tata’s show stage, where it joined two others.
The Tata Nano could sell for around $2,500. (Photo by Raveendran/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)
“They are not concept cars, they are not prototypes,” Mr. Tata announced when he got out of the car. “They are the production cars that will roll out of the Singur plant later this year.”
The four-door Nano is a little over 10 feet long and nearly 5 feet wide. It is powered by a 623cc two-cylinder engine at the back of the car. With 33 horsepower, the Nano is capable of 65 miles an hour. Its four small wheels are at the absolute corners of the car to improve handling. There is a small trunk, big enough for a duffel bag.
“Today, we indeed have a People’s Car, which is affordable and yet built to meet safety requirements and emission norms, to be fuel efficient and low on emissions,” Mr. Tata added. “We are happy to present the People’s Car to India and we hope it brings the joy, pride and utility of owning a car to many families who need personal mobility.”
The base price for the Nano will be 120,000 rupees, including road tax and delivery. Higher level models will cost more and come with air-conditioning. Sun visors and radios are extra.
The nearest priced competitor is the Maruti 800, which costs roughly twice as much as the Nano. In comparing the Nano to the Maruti 800, Mr. Tata said, “It is 8 percent smaller — bumper to bumper — and has 21 percent larger seating capacity than Maruti 800.”
via New York Times

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