The world's cheapest car, an Indian subcompact made by Tata called the Nano, will be brought to the U.S., according to company owner Ratan Tata in an interview with industry publication "Automotive News."
The Tata Nano was introduced in 2009 and sells for about $2,500 in other parts of the world. It will need to be fully redesigned to meet U.S. emissions and safety standards. It also will be upgraded to include some basic convenience features such as heat and cup holders.
As a result, the price of the Tata Nano would increase to about $8,000, according to Tata. While that's far more expensive, it would still be far less costly than the cheapest car in the U.S., currently the Nissan Versa. It starts at $11,990. An $8,000 car would cost about $178 per month at the current average new-car loan interest rate of 3.18 percent for 48 months, according to Bankrate's auto loan calculator.
Ratan Tata said it would take about three years to get the car ready for the U.S. market. No plans for distribution have been announced, though the Tata company also owns the Jaguar and Land Rover brands, so it does have a dealer presence in the U.S..
Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.