World's Cheapest Car: Tata Nano Under $2,000


For all the hype the Chevy Volt and Tesla Roadster get in America, it’s the diminutive Tata Nano that might have the most significant impact on the global car market.

Today, Tata Motors announced a starting price of 100,000 rupees, or $1,980, for the Nano when it goes on sale in India in July. Tata wanted the car to be an affordable alternative to a motorcycle. At this price, mission accomplished.

What will Indian families get for their money? The easiest answer is a safer driving experience for the family than a motorcycle or moped.

The Nano comes in three trims: Standard, CX and LX. The Standard model epitomizes "bare bones" — the model has no power steering, no airbags, no air conditioning or heat, no radio — it doesn’t even come with powered brakes.

The CX model gets you heat, A/C, powered brakes and a fold-down rear seat. The high-end LX gives you full fabric seats, power windows and locks, a front cupholder and a rear spoiler.

All Nanos are powered by a rear-mounted 33-hp two-cylinder engine that powers the rear wheels. A four-speed manual is standard; an automatic transmission isn’t available yet. Top speed is about 65 mph, and the car should achieve 55.5 mpg.

Production will be limited to 50,000 at first, but once a dedicated Nano factory is finished by the end of 2009, production should increase to half a million. Tata wants to eventually sell a million Nanos a year in India alone.

This is great for India, but will America ever see this car? Maybe. According to MSNBC, Tata is designing a version of the Nano that meets U.S. safety and emissions standards and should be ready for launch in about three years.

At the 2009 Geneva auto show, Tata unveiled the Nano Europa, a European-envisioned Nano featuring a bigger engine, an automatic transmission, alloy wheels and a slightly longer wheelbase. It will reportedly meet Europe’s strict safety standards.

The Europa might be the model we get in the U.S., but even with America’s re-acquaintance with thrift, the Nano might be too Spartan a choice for most Americans.

Tata’s Nano to hit India’s streets in July (MSNBC)

The Tata Nano Arrives (Tata)

By Colin Bird | March 23, 2009 | Comments (20)
Tags: In The News



Any word on how much the CX and LX models cost?
Safety and emissions standards in this country are so tough it may be impossible to certify this car for sale here, unfortunately. It would wind up being a lot heavier and a lot more expensive.
Would Tata sell these through Jaguar / Land Rover dealerships, like Mercedes is doing with smart cars?

Full pricing was just announced and it varies based off region in India:

Lowest price for a CX is 142,780 rupees ($2,884 USD)

LX is 170,335 ruppes ($3,372 USD)


Tata has recently said one will available in the U.S. by 2011... likely around $6,000. I could see Walmart selling these...selling lots of these!

Nano will be launched as a full fledged car for US and European markets... and hence would command a price close to 5k.

the price hike would include the costs for ABS, EBS, Euro4 engine etc.


Hopeful they will put four wheel drive on these little things. We might not be able to afford the upkeep on the roads we have.

I don't know, I think this car is nice. Would like to see something like it in the USA...I wrote a blog about it also if you care to look link is below:


Joe- Um, what?

Would be nice to see these beefed up ala the Smart cars for safety and sold outside of India.


The NY Times ran a similar article on this. The limousine liberals were yacking how this would be a great opportunity to make an electric model and idolizing the rural isolated folks whose way of life is going to, gasp, change.

My take on this is people looking for a $2,000 car certainly aren't going to buy a $40,000 electric one. As hard as it may be to believe, not everyone wants the same things we want. Not everyone wakes up in the morning, puts on a suit, and takes the subway to work. That said, though, I do hope the hippies are not about to idolize the type of people, like Sarah Palin from folksy yolksy small-town ville, that are an embarrassment to this country.


If this car were to come to the US it would not be as cheap as in India. There is the fact that there are no safety features whatsoever and adding them would make the price in the US above $5K for sure. Though it's only competition would be from the Smart Car and it would still be about half the price of those so it would be in good shape. More info about the Nano story here,


This may work in India but I can't imagine it going over in the US. Needs more safety features.


If they beef it up to meet u.s. standards and sell it for around $6000 then there wouldn't be any competition in the U.S. for it. Since more than 60% of americans make less than 35k a year this would sell fairly well.


that thing would get punted through the air by anything bigger than a Forester or Rav4.

This is great news for Tata Motors, as well as for those whose incomes didn\'t allow for their own car in the past. The Nano is going to make a big difference in the lives of a lot of people, not only for the freedom of movement, but also in increasing the potential for additional commerce (taxis, hauling products longer distances, etc.).

I read a great article about the Nano, though it is actually part of a series of articles. The latest one is titled \"Tata Releases the Nano, No Thanks to Mamata Banerjee\" and it is found at

Apparently, the politics behind building this car is out of this world.

Mamta Agarwal

the rear seats get heated up very quickly.

Mamta Agarwal

I purchased tata nano lx model whose rear seats get heated up after driving it 2km.

Elibarki amoni

Howwilli get this car in Tanznia

how come and what about in africa can it be used in Tanzania man that real worried me after 2km

It is thrue, rear seats get heated up after driving it 2km. Tata Nano - not good car.

Aww no worries. Its really good for smart car lovers. Shape is also good enough. For honda lovers, here is an offer as well

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