When the Indian industrialist Ratan Tata announced plans to produce the world’s cheapest car last January, he said he hoped to fulfil a dream of bringing motoring to the Indian masses.
But by the time the £1,350 Nano was launched yesterday in Mumbai, his dream had become more ambitious: to go head-to- head with the world’s biggest carmakers and bring low-cost motoring to the cash-strapped masses of Europe and US.
Yesterday, the group announced ambitions to challenge the gas-guzzling car culture of the west with plans to sell the Nano, which is priced in India at 100,000 rupees plus tax, to the US as well as Europe.
Tata, chairman of the group which owns Land Rover and Jaguar, said although the car had been designed for India, there had been “considerable interest” in the west.
The European Nano will be rolled out within two years and the US Nano within three. “Given the present indications of the buying preferences in the US, we felt that we could further develop the European Nano to meet the requirements of the US,” he said.