Move over Smart Car and Fiat. There’s a new mini-car that could be rolling onto the United States automotive market within three years.
Indian automaker Tata has announced plans to redesign its Nano no frills mini-car for release in the US.
“The US is a very enticing market,” said Ratan Tata, CEO of India’s Tata Group in an interview with Automotive News. We hope that the sub-$10,000 car has appeal.”
The current Nano is an egg-shaped four-seater initially launched in India as an alternative to scooters. It went on sale in 2009 with a price tag of about $2,500, making it the world’s cheapest car.
To compete in the US, the Nano would have to undergo redesigns to meet American standards including adding power steering and traction control.
Even with the updates, the Nano is estimated to hit the US market with a price tag of about $8,000. That would make it America’s cheapest car beating out the Mexican-made Nissan Versa that retails for $11,750.
The new version of the Nano will also come with a bigger engine and “more bells and whistles” according to reports. Tata says it is also redesigning the Nano for Europe as well.
In India, the Nano has had mixed reviews. Sales for the Nano fell short of the original expectations, and there was also an issue with electrical fires in 2009 and 2010. Those problems have reportedly been fixed.