• Jun 10th 2009 at 2:00PM
  • 22
Tata Nano Europa - Click above for high-res gallery

Looks like Tata Motors is trying to get the Nano into U.S. dealerships by 2011. India's largest domestic automaker thinks "the world's cheapest car" could do well here, especially given our nation's economic conditions right now. The car will likely not be as cheap when it is re-engineered to meet U.S. crash and emissions standards, but it should still be inexpensive enough to attract quite a few buyers.

There remain a couple of big roadblocks, however. First of all, how do you re-engineer the car so quickly, and secondly, where do you sell it on these shores? Rumors of distribution through Jaguar/Land Rover dealers was quickly dispelled, so that's where Fiat-Chrysler may come in, argues New York Times correspondent Nick Kurczewski.

The logic proceeds as follows: Fiat and Tata already collaborate on several joint ventures. They share a huge factory in India. Tata sells Fiats in India. Tata gets to use Fiat diesel engines and Tata developed a pickup truck that will be sold as a Fiat as well. Adding Chrysler into the mix at least helps with distribution and possibly with engineering help for a speedy conversion to U.S. standards.

Kurczewski argues that the American market Nano could even revive the Autobianchi name for Fiat, as the Italian carmaker has expressed an interest in launching an entry-level brand below Fiat. A Fiat-Chrysler Nano would go a long way toward meeting the EPA's new 35 mpg standards, even after it's upgraded with air bags and possibly a more powerful three-cylinder engine to please American drivers.

[Source: New York Times]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      For the love of God, no! Oh wait, it's from a story in the New York Times? Don't worry, won't happen.
      • 6 Years Ago
      that would be pretty interesting if chysler sold the nano here...More space and the price that will surely undercut the Smart's will be a great way for Chrysler to get its revenge on Daimler
        • 6 Years Ago
        Until people start dieing...
      • 6 Years Ago
      could they? sure.
      Could I fly to the moon on the back of a griffin? Possibly.
      Will it sell? Nah
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is a joke right?
      • 6 Years Ago
      i think buying a used car will do just fine.
        • 6 Years Ago

        never in a million year would i get in the nano, that's including at the dealer lot. you never know when somone will toss a wrench and wreck that thing

        natural selection at it's best in the car industry
      • 6 Years Ago
      Who wants to go Tata tipping?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Given all of the constraints in place to build the car, I don't think it can be sold here, not because customers wouldn't buy it or because it isn't safe, but because it would simply be too expensive to reengineer for the US, taking away the cost advantage at once. That said, it would be nice if it came, but the most I could see is a platform-sharing deal. Now, how about a rear-engined, RWD Dodge Hornet? :D
      • 6 Years Ago
      ...So you're saying that Fiat-Chrysler will put its name on another company's cheaper micro car next to the Fiat 500, which it is trying to sell in the US? What would Fiat-Chrysler gain from it? They already have more than a full line of products to sell on their lots.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Fiat has good small cars why compete against youself? My guess is Saturn makes much more sense.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sold through Chrysler? Could be possible. Maybe develop a version of the Xenon pickup to be built and sold here through Dodge to replace the Dakota.

      Still, I believe that Tata would just as soon set up its own dealer network or find another party. Saturn, Maybe?
      • 6 Years Ago
      believe it or not, I am actually excited by the prospect of the revival of Autobianchi- and this being the car to do it.

      It keeps with the core values of the marque, and allows FIAT/Chrysler to place itself in a very competitive market that will become more significant with each passing year. Now, rather than simply compete for the "American" car market and the "Euro import" market, the group can also send a very meaningful shot across the bow of the cheap Asian econobox market. Scion, Kia, and Hyundai should be afraid. This strikes me as a decision made by a company that actually has foresight.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So are all dealerships going to be Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/Fiat/Autobianchi, or will they be flipping some dealers over to just a Fiat/Autobianchi? Since they are working with Tata, would they also be considering bringing this pick-up truck at some point? I don't know anything about it but it would be nice to get a small p/u with a diesel in the states.
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