India's Tata Nano – the World's Cheapest Car

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Tato Nano Luxury 5

A carmaker in India will be launching the “world’s cheapest car” on March 23, with a price tag of just around $2,000. It’s called the Nano (although some are calling it the “People’s Car” and the “One-Lakh Car”) and you obviously won’t have to be a Slumdog Millionaire to afford one.

Tata Motors, Ltd. announced almost six years ago that the Nano would be ready in 2008, but a land conflict delayed production.

The response from other major auto manufacturers like GM and Toyota is that the Nano will not be profitable–though, of course, Tata disagrees. They also claim that the car will not be able to meet safety and emissions standards. India’s doesn’t have safety and emissions laws that are anywhere as stringent as the ones here in the U.S., so the Nano is just fine for now.

The ultra-cheap 100,000 rupee ($2,082) car will be launched at an event in Mumbai and will be displayed at Tata Motors’ dealerships across the country from the first week of April, the statement said. The company will start taking orders for the car from the second week of April.

Violent farmer protests had forced Tata Motors to shut down its factory in West Bengal state and relocate to the western state of Gujarat last year, delaying its planned launch at the end of 2008. The farmers felt they had been unfairly compensated when the government had acquired 1,000 acres from them and handed it over to Tata Motors for the Nano factory. Such land conflicts have become increasingly common as India struggles to industrialize without leaving millions of subsistence farmers behind.

Tata Motors is a part of the Tata Group, one of India’s oldest and largest conglomerates.

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