India car claims to be world's cheapest

Jan. 10, 2008 at 12:45 PM
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NEW DELHI, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- The Tata Group, India's steel giant and premier business house, has unveiled its Nano, which it claims to be the world's cheapest car at $2,500.

If Nano takes off as Tata Motors hope, it may be a boon for India's less affluent millions who now make do with their feet, a bicycle, two-wheelers or those uniquely Indian three wheelers.

Introduced at New Delhi's Indian Auto Expo among its more luxurious and expensive counterparts, the pod-shaped, four-door, five-seat Nano grabbed attention with its barebones, all-sheet-metal-body, the Voice of America reported Thursday.

The Nano is about 9.8 feet (3 meters) long with a two-cylinder, 624 cubic centimeter engine mounted in the rear, an analog speedometer and trunk that may not accommodate anything larger than a briefcase, the report said. The standard version is sans air conditioning or power steering.

Tata says the vehicle is designed to give about 47 miles per U.S. gallon of gasoline.

"I am sure in the next few months there will be many analyses of the performance of the car, which will decide whom it will cater to best," Tata Chairman Ratan Tata said.

The BBC reported Tata Motors plans an initial production of 250,000 Nanos but expects annual demand to reach 1 million units.

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