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US to get world’s cheapest car

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Posted: 6 am ET

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.

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November 09, 2012 at 1:30 pm

@kenny - "ride a bike"? that's a fine sentiment if you happen to live in an overpopulated congested smog-covered city, fortunately most of the U.S. population doesn't.. we live in nice spread-out green clean breathable cities - as such, we get to live in the burbs, miles away from work. so while riding a bike might be an enjoyable day off from smelly cabs, trains, or buses; i'd guess most Americans don't relish the idea of peddling miles to/from their jobs. so you stick to yer hipster little bicycles, and leave the rest of the country to enjoy their rides, fuel-efficient or no, it's an American's choice to make..

Russell Davis
November 08, 2012 at 7:38 pm

I think its stupid with the ecomomy the way it is to raise the price of the car for the smog and safety issues. Set belts and smog and the price goes 4 time what the rest of the world is paying. Come on your sticking your hands to deep in our pockets. I think you all have just got greedy.

November 08, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Ride a bike once in while. "City Car"... huh???? Bicycles are carbon neutral. They won't kill people if you hit them. They make us healthy and happy, as well as save $$$. And.. parking? Forget the Nano... bikes are FAR superior.

November 08, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Savvy buyers can purchase a new Chevy Aveo base model for $100 less than that! A far more superior all around car. Also, Hyundai Accents are commonly on sale for the same price too! Learn to bargain, tell the dealer you won't pay more than $500 below invoice. Dealers are paid a "hold back" amount, regardless of how much the car sells for. So if invoice says $8000, the manufacture will pay between $700-1600 likely when the car is sold. Buy that Hyundai for invoice and the dealer STILL makes a grand!