£1,390 world’s cheapest car headed for Britain
If you have £1,000 or so to spend on your transport needs, you could get a railway season ticket, a scooter or top-of-the-range bicycle.
But, instead, how do you fancy a brand new car?
The four-seater Tata Nano, the cheapest car in the world, was launched yesterday with an asking price of just £1,390.
It is designed as a low-cost but safe car for India’s masses. A higher spec and more expensive version is planned for Britain and Europe.
Chairman of Tata Group, Ratan Tata launched the Nano in Mumbai today
The Nano is being built by the Indian conglomerate Tata, which also owns Jaguar Land Rover, Corus Steel and Tetley Tea.
The car is the idea of Tata’s charismatic boss Ratan Tata.
He says he became concerned at the high casualty rates among families teetering on scooters as they ride India’s chaotic roads.
Worth the price? The Nano does not have airbags, and customers pay extra for a radio
The Nano does not have airbags but does have a reinforced interior
‘I hope it will provide safe, affordable, four-wheel transportation to families who till now have not been able to own a car,’ he said.
‘It is to the credit of the team at Tata Motors that a car once thought impossible by the world is now a reality.’
About 50,000 Nanos a year will be built initially at Tata’s Pantnagar factory in Uttarakand.
Tata Motors’ Nano is expected to redefine personal transportation in modern India
But from 2010, production numbers will accelerate rapidly to 350,000 a year at a purpose-built factory in Sanand, Gujarat.
However, demand will far exceed supply, the company predicts.
A prototype Nano for the UK and European market – which complies with EU safety and emissions rules, is called the Nano Europe and will cost around £4,500 – was unveiled at this month’s Geneva Motor Show.
It promises low carbon dioxide emissions of less than 100 grams per kilometre. There is also a plan for a U.S. model in the next three years. The Nano could reach the British market in 2011.
Tata will be hoping booming sales of the Nano will help it repay bridging loans due in June which it used to help pay the £1billion price of Jaguar and Land Rover last year.
Since then Jaguar/Land Rover has been appealing for UK taxpayer backing to help keep it afloat trough the recession.
Earlier this month Land Rover was given a £27million grant by the Government to build a new small super-green diesel-electric hybrid ‘baby’ Range Rover LRX – significantly smaller than current and much criticised 4X4s.