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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Does America Want The Tata Nano?

My answer: no, not in its original form.

As it is, the thing (probably) won't pass the NHTSA crash tests, not to mention the basic FMVSS standards. Once you add the airbags, mass, 5mph bumpers, and so on, the puny 33HP engine won't do at all. NHTSA will require stability control, so ABS will be required.

Americans also won't buy vehicles without radios. They'll want an automatic transmission.
Tata will have to go for a much larger motor, which will reduce the fuel efficiency and raise the price.

By the time the missing features are added, the car will cost $5000. You can buy a nice used Chevrolet Cobalt, Saturn Ion, Ford Focus, etc. for that kind of money. And you'll get a proven product, with wide dealer support.


Anonymous said...


Your review of the Nano and Aptera have the same udnerlying theme; they won't pass standard safety tests. OK. You are probably right. But, our autos need a bigtime facelift, something more dramatic than adding an iPod connection and a bigger cup holder. I think the Nano and Aptera, however flawed they may be based on current standards, are a glimpse into the future of the automtotive industry. These ideas need to be nurtured and funded. Detroit is suffering its second death. If it does not invest in and develop alternatives to traditional 4-wheel gas powered vehicles, it will be gone for good and we will all be driving cars built by an Apetera-Tata JV.

Anonymous said...

YES! I want the Nano in America! It's about time these thieving car makers in the US that create junk and gas hogs get a run for the money. Bring it on Nano! I'll buy in a heart-beat and for those worried about safety (which is simply a smoke-screen being jammed down our throats) as to why they supposedly can't be sold here - they are a hell of a lot safer than a motorcycle but I see them on the street everyday.

10ksnooker said...

Coffins on wheels, good for everybody. I hoep liberals buy in droves.

Make good wheel chocks for Mexican Semis.

Anonymous said...

Nah, the liberals want YOU to drive junk while they avoid taxes and blast around town with Hollywood celebs pals in German and Italian limos.

Damiano Garro said...

I think it would pass those tests at least in the Europa trim level.
I'm not American, but my girlfriend is, and her family wouldn't mind a third car very cheap (even considering the Europa price), frugal and to use only for small trips, groceries and stuff in general. If the mentality of American drivers won't change, even the automotive industry's situation won't be better.
Maybe the car won't pass as it is (I agree) the safety tests, but that's also because it has to "compete" against some "bulldozers" of the road which, honestly, do you really need those?
Is it better a Nano, or a Suburban driven to buy a pack of beers?!

Anonymous said...

dg -
Please, I lived in Europa for years, and I also saw what delivery trucks and big buses do to those little cars.
The first day "in country" as a matter of fact and, watching the news, it never got any better.
Drop the Euro-arrogance.