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India gears up for US market

Published:Sunday | January 17, 2010 | 12:00 AM


The world's cheapest car is being readied for sale in the United States (US), but by the time India's Tata Nano is retrofitted to meet emissions and safety standards, it won't be that cheap.

Tata Technologies Ltd, the global engineering arm of the Tata group conglomerate, brought the tiny car to Detroit as a publicity stunt for the engineering group.

Tata officials, while maintaining that they couldn't speak for Tata Motors, maker of the US$2,500 Nano, said they were involved with the Nano from concept until it launched last July in Mumbai.

ready in three years

They wouldn't say when the Nano might arrive in the US or how much it might cost here, although Ratan Tata, chairman of the group of Tata companies, has said it should be ready for US distribution in about three years.

Tata Motors has already made a European version of the four-seat car that will cost about US$8,000 when it makes its debut in 2011, and a Tata Technologies official said privately that the US version is expected to have a comparable price. The official did not want to be identified because the price has not been made public.

Warren Harris, Tata Techno-logies president, would only say that the price would be more than the roughly US$2,500 charged in India.