Ratan Tata, head of the India-based automaker Tata, has announced that the inexpensive Nano will be making its way to the United States within three years, despite its poor sales performance in India. The bare bones four-passenger Tata Nano, which is equipped with a two-cylinder, 37-horsepower engine, will be reworked for the U.S. market.
Although the revisions will raise the price of the vehicle above the easy-on-the-budget $3,000 sticker price, Tata told Automotive News that the vehicle will be priced under the $10,000 mark.
"The Smart and the Fiat 500 have high sticker prices, and people buy them because they are small cars," said Tata at the opening of a Jaguar Land Rover dealership here. "But everyone knows you put a lot of money into it. We hope that the sub-$10,000 car has appeal." Source: Automotive News
While an inexpensive car has appeal, will the American consumer welcome the Tata Nano with open arms? The vehicle has essentially been a flop in India, which doesn’t bode well for its success here in the United States.
In addition to the challenges that Tata faces by expanding into a new market, Tata will be going up against industry heavy hitters that have similarly priced autos, albeit not in the sub-$10,000 realm. The 2013 Nissan Versa Sedan starts at only $11,990 and it has the extra benefit of brand recognition.
Tata, on the other hand, may be a completely unknown name to most American consumers. Those who do recognize the brand may associate it with a sub-par product. However, the release of the Nano here in the United States will give Tata the opportunity to learn from its mistakes with the Indian Nano release and perhaps make a new name for the automaker.
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