At the Delhi Motor Show there’s been a big launch for a small vehicle. India’s Tata Motors showed off the world’s cheapest new car which it believes will be the start of a major change in the way that the world’s poor use the roads.
The four seater Nano will sell for the equivalent of just 1,700 euros and should be in showrooms in India by September.
Company chairman Ratan Tata said that it has been designed will meet Indian safety standards and would even pass European emission standards as it has a catalytic converter to clean the exhaust emissions and so would produce less pollution than motorcycles.
He told reporters that he felt “a sense of achievement and vindication” as when he announced the project five years ago few felt it was possible.
One spectator at the car’s unveiling said it was a big moment for Tata and India: “Everybody laughed at him and it was a big joke, so it is amazing to see that he actually achieved it. We’re very proud of him and it’s amazing that India was able to do it.”
The Tata Nano is just half the price of the next cheapest car China’s Chery QQ3. Renault, which already produces the low cost Logan, is looking at whether it can make and sell a small car for less that two thousand euros.
Tata said he wanted to make a safer and more affordable alternative for the millions of Indian’s who cram whole families onto motorbikes, but critics warned the environment will suffer through cheap cars flooding on to India’s already heavily congested roads.