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Would you buy a Tata Nano?

Considering that the Nano Europa shall be soon sold in Europe for close to 6000$, and it shall meet all the specifications for being sold in America as well, would you buy it?


Nope. Too small, too under-powered, too impractical. No outside access to trunk, no A/C (it would kill the little 33 Hp motor anyways), and no radio or CD player (for sanity while in traffic). That 33 Hp motor will get me killed in traffic. Not enough power to get out of it’s own way, much less those big trucks.

I agree with BustedKnuckles on all counts. I much prefer cars with at least 5-10X the horsepower of the Tata. Even the original VW Beetles had more HP than the Tata I think, and they were ridiculously slow. For that matter, there are riding lawnmowers that approach the power level of the Tata.

That car has the appearance of an accident looking for a place to happen. Very top heavy/unstable appearance. What are the MPG stats, though? And I would be very interested in seeing a smaller, more basic automobile offered but the Tata isn’t it.

Remember the Yugo?? I really have to question the vehicles reliability.

Everything one would want in a golf cart.

Except no room for the clubs!!!

Even if it easily met all those standards, Tata has a long way to go to catch up to the quality and durability of the cheapest Yaris, Honda Fit or Hyundai Elantra. Tata builds reasonably good trucks, but Indian consumers put up with a lot of downtime and frustration because all cars made there are unrelaible. A better question would be; “Would you buy an Ambassador?” That’s a remade 1955 Morris Oxford and India’s national car.

For $6000 you can buy a good used econobox with more life left in it than a Tata Nano, and more creature comforts. We’ve been this road before; the early Subarus imported by Malcolm Bricklin, the Yugo, the early Hyundai Ponys in the late 70s, the Russian Lada. Consumer Reports tested them all and concluded that if you bought a good used car for that amount you would be better off. For the same reason don’t buy a Fiat 500 when it hits the market soon. North American consumers are too spoiled with good quality at affordable prices to put up with a Nano.

As a footnote, China put on a near-perfect Olympic games in 2008, tiny Malaysia with only 28 million people, put on a flawless Commomwealth Games performance in 1998!. I was there!

India with a 7 year lead time and a population of one billion has trouble putting on this year’s Commonwealth Games; structures falling down, everything behind achedule, Filthy athletes’ facilities, etc.

Draw your own conclusions.

Fifty five miles per US gallon and it actually has room for stuff. For someone who mostly drives in the city and stays off the freeways, it makes more sense than the Smart? Car.

Never. There are many far superior vehicles a bit used with likely more life left for the same price.

It will never fly for the masses in the US. Inexpensive small cars are a dead market do not make money for car makers. For good reason.

I don’t want to be arguing with you too much , docnick, but yes, even though traditionally, cars used in the Indian market have been very archaic, in recent times things have improved a notch or two.

Tata Cars and Trucks are VERY different from Hindustan Motors cars (ambassador, contessa, etc.)

Small car exports from India:

The games and Indian companies are two very different things. The games is a govt run thing, while the private sector in India is much more efficient.

By the same logic: G W Bush went to Iraq and Afghanistan, so lets generalize now about the character and the nature of all americans?..?

Couple of things:

For Europe and the US, its a 60 bhp engine, for India, 33bhp. I think with 60 bhp, it’ll be okay on the city roads, but not on the freeway.

I would not buy it for where I now live, but if I moved to either of the locations that are likely for my next move, I would consider it.

From the linked article:

This time it is expected to come without the problems of the previous model, including the main problem of catching fire.

Kind of an important safety feature, don’t you think? Docnik is right.

The mileage is good, but the Smart Car (which is too small for my personal preference by far) is light years beyond a Tata in refinement, performance, and projected reliability.

60 HP makes it more attractive… slightly… but if I want a tiny, economical car, I’d look at a used Miata or Mini-Cooper. At least they’re more fun to drive, reliable, and don’t look as though they’ve been squished between two semis.

33HP is IMHO not enough to safely keep up with modern traffic even in an urban area, unless it’s geared for, say, 50 mph top speed. That type of gearing will be necessary for adequate acceleration and to maintain even modest speeds on inclines.

Other than that, I’m not so quick to say “never”. I’ve been around too long to say that. I was around when Japanese makes were considered junky “riceburners” and, to be honest, many of the early ones were. That includes Toyota’s first U.S.-targeted effort, the Crown. And let us not forget the Datsun B210.

Thanks for the comments. What I was really driving at was the demanded level of quality and reliability in North America, Australia, Japan, and Europe compared with what the rest of the world will accept.

India is ideally positioned to be a major supplier of motor vehicles to all these other countries (which don’t have a car industry), and price is the driving selling point. The very low cost of labor to repair these cars makes reliability and durability less of an issue.

Every country that industrializes goes through this process. Japanese consumer products were a joke at the end of World War II, and the Japanese Camera Institute identified that you had to meet German and Swiss standards in order to sell your goods.

I’m sure Tata will move up the quality curve and, like Korea, will produce cars that meet the best levels. East European countries like Romania, Yugoslavia, Russia and Poland also found their cars would need improvement to be saleable in the West.

Agree that governments don’t do things as well as the private sector; I used it as an illustration as to what the general public will accept, which in turn reflects what quality goods and service they will tolerate. I often use South Korea as an example of a country with no resources, and industrializing very late, becoming a world leader in many things, including shipbuilding, electronics, and other areas.

Good points, I guess I’m more attracted to the concept of the car than the actual car.
What’s the point of a small car if it doesn’t get outstanding gas mileage. My Toyota Yaris gets 40+ mpg, my last tank was 44.5 mpg. That’s why I am so underwhelmed by the Smart Car. I’m not surprised by the SmartCar’s underwhelming fuel economy, how can something that boxy possibly be aerodynamic enough for 60+ mpg on the highway?

If you can get a car like that to weigh under 1000 pounds, 33 horsepower would accelerate a car quite nicely. On a 350 pound motorcycle, 33 horsepower leaves the traffic in the dust.