A redesigned version of the Nano from Tata Motors (also owners of Jaguar and Land Rover) will hit the U.S. shores in three years’ time and the new model will be much more sophisticated than the Indian version.
In India, the car was rolled out as the world’s cheapest car, but “concerns over the Nano bursting into flames, slow sales after its release and a lack of furnishings like heating or a cup holder” diminished its popularity, according to the Huffington Post.
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However, with proper modifications that would attract American and European customers, the Tata Group expects to create a strong market for the Nano.
"The U.S. is a very enticing market," Ratan Tata, head of Tata Group, told Automotive News. "We are redesigning the Nano for both Europe and the U.S."
Modifications include power steering and traction control apart from a bigger engine. The current version of the Nano available in India has a two-cylinder rear-mounted engine and is priced at $2,500.
But when the redesigned version makes its debut, it is expected to cost below $10,000. “The Smart and the Fiat 500 have high sticker prices, and people buy them because they are small cars. But everyone knows you put a lot of money into it. We hope that the sub-$10,000 car has appeal," Tata told the Automotive News.
On what’s driving the prices, Tata Executive Warren Harris told the Associated Press: “The structural changes that would need to be made, the changes that would be required as far as emissions are concerned, and some of the features that would be appropriate to add to the vehicle for the North American market, obviously that would drive up the price point."
However, it is still considered cheaper than other small cars currently available in the market. For example, the Nissan Versa and the Hyundai Accent are priced at $11,750 and $13,205 respectively, and if Nano’s prices hold, it would be the new cheapest car in the U.S., reports show.