The big news today, of course, is the launch of India’s Tata Motors’ $2500 Nano automobile. That’s right, India is building cars (there are more on the way from other makers, including a possible Renault/Bajaj collaboration) that cost half as much as a new Vespa. And Tata, who you’ve probably never heard of until this week, is a rapidly-growing superpower with steel, manufacturing, automotive, industrial, and hotel resources. The company is currently in the process of acquiring the pride of their former imperialist conqueror, Land Rover/Jaguar, from Ford Motor Co.
Ratan Tata, quoted in a press release, described the origins of the car:
I observed families riding on two-wheelers–the father driving the scooter, his young kid standing in front of him, his wife seated behind him holding a little baby. It lead me to wonder whether one could conceive of a safe, affordable, all-weather form of transport for such a family.