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2008 Tata Nano Is the $2500 Car That Might Change the World
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Popular Mechanics

Popular Mechanics, January 10, 2008
Posted: January 20th, 2008

Fireworks blossomed on giant video screens, the 2001: A Space Odyssey theme reached its brassy peak, and the worlds most affordable carthe $2500 Tata Nanorolled out onto the stage. Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata Group, parked and got out as hundreds of camera flashes speckled the darkened convention hall. Here at the 2008 AutoExpo in India, the Nanos debut was about much more than a car. The Nano, many tradeshow attendees seemed to believe, would transform the country and then, maybe, the world. The Nano looked underwhelming, [like] a golf cart crossed with a jelly bean. Its journey onto the stage and into history was powered by a 2-cylinder, 33-hp engine, and the spec sheet is best given as what the car has not: no air conditioning, no radio, no power steering, no sun visors. But it carries four people, gets 50 mpg, and costs less than a trendy motor scooter. The Nano is no solution to the traffic problem in big [Indian] cities; a prominent Indian environmentalist called the prospect of these ultra-affordable vehicles flooding the roads a nightmare. But the Nano represents both national pride about Indias ingenuity and the promise that the benefits of middle-class life will reach more people. What can you get for $2500 in the U.S.? a young man ... asked. You cant carry your family for $2500 in a [new] car. But in India we have done this. His friend, Rajesh Relia, agreed. He makes 6000 rupees a month, about $150. He doesnt own a car, and carries his family of four, dangerously and cumbersomely, on a motor scooter. The Nano is a car he can actually afford, and he said he will buy one as soon as it becomes available in late 2008. This is my dream, he said, beaming toward the stage. I am very happy today.

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