Could an extremely inexpensive, minuscule little car like the Tata Nano actually sell in America, a land historically enamored with powerful V8 engines surrounded by as much sheetmetal as possible? According to the Financial Times, Tata Motors may be about to find out, as the Indian automaker is said to be looking at an introduction into the U.S. market by 2011 or 2012.
What makes Ratan Tata, chairman of the automaker that bears his name, think that his diminutive rear-engined machine might sell in the United States? The economy, of course. Americans may be willing to accept some of the sacrifices that would go hand-in-hand with owning the World's Cheapest Car, though the version likely to sell in the States would surely differ in major ways from what is now on sale in India.
If the Tata Nano were to hit the U.S. market, it would need to pass the same safety and emissions regulations as any other car currently sold in America. Those are not insurmountable tasks, however, as proven by the version of the Nano that's planned for European markets.
So far, there is no indication of how much a Tata Nano would cost in U.S. dollars if it were sold here.