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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 03, 2012 at 1:44 pm

To Al. The EPA is not about a cleaner earth. It is about bigger government. Most of the world doesn't give a rip about emissions. Heck, we have Canada dumping raw sewage right into Puget Sound and they don't intend to stop. What the EPA requires of cars in the US is a pittance compared to what the rest of the world does to the eco-system. I decommissioned two coal fired boilers because the EPA made us, then we sold them to a company in the Philippines and they are running today.The EPA is a complete waste of the tax payers money. As far as safety is concerned, I'd be glad to buy a car without 10 air bags if I could get one. We don't need anywhere near the safety stuff on our cars, we only need to drive with our brains in operation. Example! Anyone who would drive while texting or talking on the phone should lose their license for life.

November 03, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Al, first of all we are not a country that was sert up to have a large controlling government. "Less EPA" does not mean more pollution. Maybe you can stop spreading propaganda and stop changing the meaning of words to get you point accross. But I will say there are good things that come out of the EPA regulations. But no agency should have so much control that the cost of a vehicle will more than triple just to be sold in the US. Second, "less Big Government" does not mean that less-safe cars kill people faster. If you believe that we need larger, more controlling Government, you know where to move. No the "teabaggers" that you so kindly refure too. Bigger Government also hs nothing to do with better gain. You need to check your facts on that one too. And to say something as open ended as ("but don't just spout "less government" like it's a no-loss, all-gain answer because it simply isn't"), because less government is better in a free market, free REPUBLIC Country. And yes I agree with you there needs to be proper government roles and proper regulation to keep the market free and proper. It sounds that like the biggest problem is most people are unwilling to use facts to post arguments and you are one of those people. So have fun in you world and utopian mind that can never work without the big bad corperations that funds you ideas.

November 03, 2012 at 1:17 pm

This just shows how much government regulations cost the consumer. Without the government regulations this car could be purchased for $2500, with regulations $8000. Run a way government regulation sponsored by special interest groups are killing the American economy!

November 03, 2012 at 1:06 pm

I worked as a Union Carpenter in some Ford and Gm plants in Detroit. And I'll tell you, if those UAW workers spent as much time working as they did sleeping and hiding, cars would only be $8,000 each. I saw it first hand, so this is no B.S. I would walk past a guy sleeping, then go past 4 hours later and the same guy would still be sleeping. I would see people hiding in the dark corners just thinking it was a joke to hide from their work. Makes me sick when I think about it. Thats why I laugh when I hear the Auto Industry is laying off 10,000 people.

November 03, 2012 at 12:43 pm

I would love to buy american, no doubt. Keep work here and support this great country that took me in as a citizen but the american cars are way overprized. Being it the parts, union wages, I dont know. So what makes an American car go easy over $20K. Knowing new cars in general loose big chunk of value instantly, once they leave the sale lot, how does anyone want to buy a new car in the first place. WIth the new challanges of being green, gas efficiant, have workers making a good wage and have quality parts, where are we willing to cut first to make it more attractive for the buyer to buy American. Im not a buisness major nor Im good with politics but Iam a consumer looking to buy a car and want to buy American so bad but finacialy limited.

Kira in NJ
November 03, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Danny, I don't know what state you are living in but I had a Geo Metro and it drove me into the ground for repairs- the second the warrenty was off on the engine (3 MONTHS ONLY!) it DIED -yeah, I only owned it for 3 MONTHS! and I put 6 ENGINES in that thing in less than 2 yrs when I let them come take it back because I refused to pay any more car payments on the junker! (it was bought in PA if that makes any difference) And my sister in law and cousin had the YUGO and THAT was the biggest hunk of junk they EVER had, too! A car with the name TATA? LOL! Let's just HOPE, in NJ and PA anyways, that the TATA (lol) NANO doesn't wind up a NJ YUGO!

November 03, 2012 at 12:26 pm

You teabaggers are plain funny! It should be obvious to the dullest of you that "less EPA" means more pollutants which means the world dies faster and "less Big Government" means that less-safe cars kill people faster (that extra $5500 isn't spent on shinier paint, it's spent on safety and emissions improvements). The USA simply has higher standards than those in, say, India. If you want to drive junky, highly polluting and less-safe cars, you know where to move to, but don't just spout "less government" like it's a no-loss, all-gain answer because it simply isn't.

November 03, 2012 at 11:57 am

What a shame, and a good example of how we have become the Big Overpriced US.....from a very affordable $2500 to "about $8000". Face it, BIG GOVERNMENT, UNION WAGES, EPA costs the average US Taxpayer....too much. Less BIG GOVERNMENT, Less UNION, Less EPA please!!!

John D
November 03, 2012 at 6:36 am

Handoverfist, you are so very wrong, the union wages only come to about 11% of the final tally in a car built by union labor. The costs come from steel and other items made here because of regulations and laws that companies overseas do not feel the need to have, but the "treehugger" wanted green pastures and blue skys, so EPA became a force in America.
Maybe if you did some real reasearch instead of spouting a load of BS people might pay closer attension to your ignorant donkey.

November 01, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Hey don't knock the YUGO,,,i had 1 for 4 years,,,it was great on gas 30+ to the gallon ,,,cheap to operate,,,and very easy to work on...not to mention the parts for the car were also very cheap. I would have it today,,,but the frame rusted out ,,,and it could not be repaired. If i could find 1 today,,,i sure would buy it,,,great little car,,,just like the geo metro.