Being able to buy a brand new car...not a "new" used car...for $2,500 sounds like Savvy Frugality's dream. Tata Motors of India today unveiled what is being called the "world's cheapest car"...the Tata Nano.
Initially built for the India market, where there are few car owners, the Nano is built to suit the pocket book of the Indian working man and woman, but there are plans to export the vehicle beyond the streets of New Delhi to markets in Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa. There are currently no plans to bring it to the U.S., which likes its Hummers and Expeditions.
The Nano measures 10 feet long and almost 5 feet wide, with a two-cylinder engine capable of speeds up to 65 miles per hour. It would make a great "around town" car in the U.S.
I'm all for ultra-cheap, fuel-sipping cars. An all-electric version would be even better if they could perfect the battery for such a model. However, I'm reminded of another ultra cheap model from my youth...the Yugo.
The Yugo...so named because it was built in the former Yugoslavia...was a terrible, cheap (and cheaply made) car sold in the U.S. in the '80s. A friend of mine in the Navy had one. I'll never forget the day his wife drove over a railroad crossing and the rear window fell right out of the car. The Yugo didn't last long.
If the Nano is built well, has good safety features and is up to snuff on emissions standards, I don't see a reason why it couldn't be sold in the U.S., just as long as it's not the 21st Century version of the Yugo.