While the Chevy Volt is hogging most of GM’s press time these days, word is out that General Motors is also scheming to take on the Tata Nano with an uber-cheap compact city car expected to retail in the area of $4,000 – their cheapest ever to date.
Unfortunately, most people with their press finger on the auto industry pulse agree it’s unlikely such a little jewel will see American soil any time soon. The car will most likely be produced and sold in Asia where the market for miniature cars is much stronger.
“When Tata Motors in India came out with their $2500 Nano vehicle, it put a lot of automakers on the spot,” said GM executive vice president of international operations, Nick Reilly, at a recent press conference in Brazil.
“We are not going to make cars that cheap because that is really a specific car for a very specific market that has different emissions standards and specifications than markets like the U.S. and Brazil,” he stated. “So we are looking at lower-cost vehicles, but do not know yet where it will be made or where will it be sold, though most likely in Asia.” (1)
Whether or not there may be an emerging demand for basement-priced pint-sized economy cars in the US could be beyond the point as GM officials say two-thirds of car sales come from outside our borders. (2)
Motor Trend reports that GM currently produces several “microcar-type vehicles” in China with partner SAIC and already has the hardware to design a vehicle that if packaged correctly could “give the Nano a run for its rupees.” (1)