Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tata Chairman Says U.S. Car Will Cost ‘$7,000 or $8,000’

Tata Motors struck headline gold in 2008 with the 100,000-rupee price tag ($2,172) for its Nano city car. But if the Indian automaker succeeds in bringing a vehicle to the United States, the car’s window sticker will forfeit a good deal of its shock value.

Last week Ratan Tata, the Tata Group chairman, discussed sales and pricing prediction for a United States city car after a symposium at Cornell University’s College of Art, Architecture and Planning. Mr. Tata is an alumnus. The symposium was held in concurrence with an exhibition that explored the design and development of the Nano.

It won’t be a $2,000 car; it will be a $7,000 or $8,000 car, Mr. Tata said during the Q&A session. But it will still be, in proportional terms, a car that the U.S. would accept.

The ultimate vehicle, he added, would be produced with the same design philosophy and frugal engineering that informed development of the Nano.

Mr. Tata was not asked whether the Pixel, a scissor-doored runabout that was exposed in concept form at the Geneva auto show this month presaged neither an American Tata nor whether the company still intended to bring the Nano in a few form to the American market.

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