Consumerist Jan. 16, 2010:

Back in the early ’00s, I saw Smart cars zipping around my neighborhood in France and thought, “Europe is so weird! They’d never sell those in the US.” But I was wrong. And the relative success of tiny cars like the Mini Cooper and, the Smart fortwo has led to the inevitable. The world’s cheapest car, India’s Tata Nano, is coming to America and Europe in about three years.

The Nano sells for about $2,500 USD in India, and will be more robust and safer before it shows up on the American and European markets. But it’ll still be tiny, and cheaper than a base-model Hyundai Accent, currently the cheapest new car on the US market.

FYI, the Hyundai Accent lists for about $13,000, so will they price the Tata Nano for less than 10 grand?

  1. Cap'nKangaroo says:

    #24 “You can drive whatever you want, but don’t tell me there’s rational reasons for driving that much steel.”

    Try pulling a boat with this little thing, or a 30 ft camper, or just about any type of trailer. I see F-series trucks pulling things all the time.

    I also see many F-series trucks hauling the kid’s furniture to and from college, lumber to build that tree house, and motorcycles, go-carts, ATVs, Jet skis, snowmobiles.

    All very rational reasons to be driving that much steel.

  2. chris says:

    As long as American car companies insist on making big vehicles they will continue to get trounced in the market. That’s great news!

    #34 Your “motorcycles, go-carts, ATVs, Jet skis, snowmobiles” are all optional accessories. There are uses for trucks and SUVs, but the production of these vehicles is all out of proportion to legitimate uses. Most big vehicles are not hauling many people or used as work vehicles. Thankfully, market forces that conservatives love so much are driving consumers away from stupidly large vehicles.

    #33 Power to weight ratio, buddy. Small cars will win eventually. Toyota puts a conscious zit-factor into every Prius. That will change. Electric motors provide instant on torque, and smaller size provides more dynamic response. Look at the Tata(super name, btw) as a baby-step towards the next new car reality.

  3. Cephus says:

    #35: There are things you can *NEVER* do with a small car, some of which you listed. For those of us who do those things on a semi-regular basis, having a small car is pointless because they can never fulfill our needs. A bigger vehicle, while it may not always be used for those purposes, can do the job when the job needs to be done.

  4. qb says:

    I apologize for degrading you Dodd.

  5. Dr Dodd says:

    #38-qb-I apologize for degrading you Dodd.

    I forgive you, but my F-150 tends to carry a grudge.

  6. Dr Dodd says:


    Thanks for the help, I like your interpretation better.

  7. qb says:

    Dodd, that’s why you always lose. At least pedro brings game.

  8. Dr Dodd says:

    Lose? What “exactly” have I lost?

  9. The Tata definitely does seem to fall under the same sort of catagory as did the Yugo. I remember this car, and I loved how the seats appeard to be covered with old beach towels.

    I do think the US manufacturers are not serving the smaller car market well. I see so many of the little Honda Fits (heh) and Toyota Yaris and the like these days. The only cars the domestics seem to have in this size range are in fact, imports as well. The same thing happened in the 70’s, and led to the rise of the Japanese automakers in the USA.

    Ah, some things never change.

  10. Cap'nKangaroo says:

    Just to be clear: F-series pick ups are made by Ford which did not go bankrupt and did not take bailout money.

  11. Dr Dodd says:

    #51-chris-American business doesn’t want to be guided by the market. Luxury SUVs are not for everybody. They are high margin, so that’s what the Big 3 wanted to make.

    Big 3 made them because people want big vehicles. This is why you see so many on the road. If they didn’t few would pay the inflated cost and just buy smaller.

    The market was being served until government got on the “green kick” and began manipulating gas prices in an effort to force people into smaller cars.

  12. chris says:

    #54 Each of the big 3 were producing thousands of vehicles in excess of demand before the ’08 gas price spike. They chose to make the number of cars and type that, if sold, would allow rosy financial predictions. It didn’t work out like that.

    I haven’t heard anyone blame the government’s secret green agenda(remember Bush was still in)for the run up in oil. I don’t think it’s supportable. My read is that investment banks were getting crushed by bad mortgage backed debt, and they squeezed the commodity markets too hard to try and get back on top.


Bad Behavior has blocked 3884 access attempts in the last 7 days.