Cars Blog

Finance Blogs » Cars Blog » US to get world’s cheapest car

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.

Bankrate wants to hear from you and encourages comments. We ask that you stay on topic, respect other people's opinions, and avoid profanity, offensive statements, and illegal content. Please keep in mind that we reserve the right to (but are not obligated to) edit or delete your comments. Please avoid posting private or confidential information, and also keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

By submitting a post, you agree to be bound by Bankrate's terms of use. Please refer to Bankrate's privacy policy for more information regarding Bankrate's privacy practices.
Eddie B
November 06, 2012 at 5:49 pm

How about A/C, Carpet, XM Sat. Radio. Automatic Transmission, Headlights, Air Bags, Turn know, all those important things!

November 06, 2012 at 2:48 pm

If it will cost over $5,000 just to pass Federal Regulations, then it must be a REAL DEATH TRAP of a vehicle! Do you have to name your next of kin and file a will just to be allowed to drive it here? You can keep that tin can death trap!! We really Don't Need a TRASHIER and CHEAPER junk car to waste our money on....

November 05, 2012 at 10:31 pm

I need to change professions.. i had no idea you could buy a car from another country and add a cup holder and a heater and turn a 300% profit.

November 05, 2012 at 9:19 pm

So a car that costs $2500 everyplace *ELSE* in the world would cost $8K in the USA because of regulations??? And people think we don't have enough regulation?? Perhaps, folks, *THAT'S* why the US economy has gone in the toilet, we can't sell our stuff elsewhere, and jobs have all left the country. Sorry folks, we've turned into a 3rd-world country now. You used to be able to buy a Ford Maverick for under $2K, a Ford Pinto for under $1800. They could do that then because cars weren't burdened with excessive regulation, and the car companies were forced to actually compete in a open market.

November 04, 2012 at 7:14 pm

So many times (I meant mostly), I see a single driver driving ford expedetion or similar HUGE gas "guzzler" SUV. Do you really think that we need to have the huge vehicles for just 1 person. We Americans are spoiled with LOW gas prices ($1.XX). While this was affordable sometimes back due to LOW "REAL" inflation, let's accept it thats not going to happen again. The new normal is around $4/gallon. We want everything BIG from cars to our houses (whether we need or not). Take a look at the european countries (and rest of the world), they can live with smaller cars so why can't we. Also, other part of the world has solid mass transportation system, why can't we have similar things? It's time to do our part and reduce carbon foot print by making some good choices.

Eventhough, a foreign company, I welcome Tata (Nano) to USA. It may not be the SAFEST and "All Inclusive" car in the world but this introduction would trigger rage from our domestic manufactures to develop and build similar car in the USA. Also, as TATA said before, Nano is really a CITY car so being small is really good if you want to park in tight parking spaces of NYC.

Just my 2 cents but other people may have different views.

November 04, 2012 at 4:27 pm

If you dont want this car coming to America, I have a novel idea, maybe US auto makers could come up with something at a similar price. This car will be affordable to many lower and middle income Americans

Mazana Robinson
November 04, 2012 at 12:42 pm

I agree with selling American car's in America..Do we relly need another cheap small car.

JB Bennett
November 04, 2012 at 10:32 am

My father worked for 1 of the rubber companies in Akron. He told me many times that the U.S. would take over the war in Indochina once the French lost it. (this was in mid 1953) I remember because he said my older brother (a Marine) most likely would end up fighting there.

He went on to explain about raw rubber and the need for a stable supply of high quality product for the U.S. rubber industry. And that the U.S. would support what ever non communist govt. they came up with. And that support would go away when hi quality raw rubber was available from other countries with "stable" govt's.

I can't say the Vietnam war was fought for "Business" and no other reason.

I feel most of the American people were lied to about the real reasons for that war (Tonkin Gulf), as well as "WMD's" in Iraq, It really didn't matter if Republican or Democrat was president.

I believe If all the potential voters of this country start voting in local elections and put up candidates that understand the hard work ahead and the need for common goals we will be able to survive with a two party system.

Eygpt had so many different parties going for power that the popular vote was diluted and a "radical" (is it really?)govt is now in power.

It takes a lot of hard work to bring about most of the success we enjoy as a freedom loving country.

This country can regain much of what has been lost if we start at the local level and really start paying attention to family,friends,community and country. Don't settle for 2nd or 3rd place.

In my "past life" in the Navy we had a saying. "2nd place is just 1st loser"

The Global economy is here and the U.S. needs to be a strong part of that economy.Competition is here, get involved and lets work together.

We may never be the manufacturing giant we once were,we can be a giant in world leadership and not just geopolital oneupsmanship.

Get started in your local area. Have the meetings that bring all the viewpoints together. It can be done. We do it here in my home town and it is working.

tommm g
November 03, 2012 at 10:43 pm

I have a relative that just spent the better part of 2 years recovering from a "small car accident".
Does america really need this thing?
That set aside..

Anyway, how about selling american cars in america?

Beth Boone
November 03, 2012 at 10:22 pm