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World, Meet Your Cheapest Car!

A company in India has unveiled the world's cheapest car. The Tata Nano will go on sale next month for the low-low price of $1,979. Right now millions of Indians ride inexpensive motorcycles. But with five seats, the Nano could be an affordable way to transport families.

For less than $2,000, drivers won't get air bags, air conditioning, a radio, or power steering. Still, environmental activists worry that the no-frills car will be popular, thus adding to car traffic and pollution.

A European version of the Nano will hit that market in 2011, for about $5,700. Are you happy to see cars go cheap, or do you worry about the environmental impact?

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michael658 michael658 6 years
Thanks a lot to all for a great articles. ------------- Cheap Low Priced Cars
distii distii 7 years
Well these cars are obviously not put on the market for the somewhat-more-educated-part-of-society (see how much im avoiding the word class?! =p), its meant for, say, families with 3 kids who travel from A to B on a motorcycle! I live in a country where the road conditions are somewhat similar as they are in India and I really welcome the arrival of cheap cars like these. It's not about lifestyle anymore, clearly people NEED to go about in places where you can't really depend on proper public transport. Besides, if you bump into a car, the damages to a person aren't probably as high as compared to bumping into a motor with 5 people on it.. To say this will add up to the number of accidents is not something i agree with. Numbers will stay the same, the difference will be in the vehicles involved.. Bring on these cars!!
stephley stephley 7 years
I did read what you wrote, and was immediately struck by how classist it was.
notinthemood notinthemood 7 years
"they're going to buy these cars, load up the family, drive to the city, fall in love with indoor plumbing THEN discover that it costs money to 'maintain the lifestyle' " I NEVER said those things... those are your own words, honey. And did you even read what I wrote, or did you just pick out things you didn't like to attack me with? To "maintain the lifestyle" is to become dependent on your automobile, then have to sacrifice other things to afford it when gas prices go up, which they will, inevitably, when everyone else gets a car, too. It has absolutely nothing to do with classism, or anything else you think it's smacking of. The "suburban sprawl" that we have here is so different than the structure in India, maybe you should take a class and learn a little about the country? I was also talking about people getting OUT of the city, not the Clampetts. Of course there are already cars in India... they have noteworthy traffic jams on a regular basis. And people who don't live in the city generally have some sort of transportation. You're the one assuming they are cavemen being introduced to fire. Those were YOUR words, not mine.
stephley stephley 7 years
I asked if these people "who might buy these cars have never known people who own cars or had opportunities to buy even run-down cars in the past" NOT whether they had cars. The point is that your fear that they're going to buy these cars, load up the family, drive to the city, fall in love with indoor plumbing THEN discover that it costs money to 'maintain the lifestyle' smacks of classism.
notinthemood notinthemood 7 years
That is practically irrelevant... but FYI, Mr. Tata himself has said, "I hope it will provide safe, affordable four-wheel transportation to families who till now have not been able to own a car." So yeah... it is intended for people who have not yet owned a car.
stephley stephley 7 years
Do you think the people who might buy these cars have never known people who own cars or had opportunities to buy even run-down cars in the past? This is an inexpensive model car, they're not being introduced to fire for the first time.
notinthemood notinthemood 7 years
Do you remember last summer, how many people in America had to choose between food and $4/gallon fuel because they lived in suburban areas with 30+ mile drives in to work every day? Quickly-created suburban areas generally lack reliable public transportation... in many parts of the US, if you don't drive you don't go anywhere. Period. It's a bad system and one that is nearly impossible to change. But this is not the US we're talking about... it's a less-developed nation with lower wages and fewer protections for workers. Their jobs could be at stake if they have car trouble in the morning. If they move out of the city, how do their kids get to school? How do they buy food? Will they have money for it if the cost of fuel goes up quickly along with demand? These issues are especially bad for the poor, especially if they have nothing saved. This car certainly could open up opportunities for families to move out of urban areas and could give them freedom to go where they want. But you have to think about the risks... owning a car is expensive and it's certainly not a right, it's a personal choice. I never said they shouldn't be allowed to have cars, I'm saying that if this car becomes popular it has the potential to make a very messy situation, very quickly.
stephley stephley 7 years
"I don't think this will be a good thing if it takes impoverished (or nearly) people and makes them dependent on a vehicle...in this case I get the feeling it might "suburbanize" people who won't have the means to maintain the lifestyle." You seem to be suggesting that even this very basic car might be too much for the poor - that it will make them want for a lifestyle that they can't have.
notinthemood notinthemood 7 years
How is that classism?
stephley stephley 7 years
"Why should we push our consumerism and transit habits on other countries? I don't think this will be a good thing if it takes impoverished (or nearly) people and makes them dependent on a vehicle. Gadgets like these have the ability to help or hinder, and in this case I get the feeling it might "suburbanize" people who won't have the means to maintain the lifestyle." How is that not classism?
scourtneyex scourtneyex 7 years
btw, the argument that you cannot drive a compact car due to the proliferation of SUVs is inane. be a safe driver and you can own whatever vehicle you want
scourtneyex scourtneyex 7 years
i would def drive one of these. i had a geo metro for years and LOVED it.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 7 years
Wait a minute- this car is being sold in Asia, and a version of it might be sold in the UK, where they already have smaller cars. Why in the world are people reacting to this post with a, "well I couldn't drive it in (name that state) because of all the SUV/semis"? That isn't even the point of the post....
dd-sugar dd-sugar 7 years
I see such horrific accidents here in LA, so I wouldn't feel safe in it on the freeway but puttering around certain areas, maybe. Guess I'm paranoid but I fear at any moment, I'll get run over by car chases. I have seen a few Smart cars around here. Very cute and fit into the skinny parking spaces nicely. We need some sort of change though.
hartsfull hartsfull 7 years
:thumbsup: Notinthemood! :)
notinthemood notinthemood 7 years
I think it's rather ignorant for someone to say what people should and should not drive... if I want to drive an SUV or a bicycle, that's my choice. That classism and environmentalism stuff is such a crock when it means stealing liberties away from some to give to others. Just another form of social control. Why should we push our consumerism and transit habits on other countries? I don't think this will be a good thing if it takes impoverished (or nearly) people and makes them dependent on a vehicle. Gadgets like these have the ability to help or hinder, and in this case I get the feeling it might "suburbanize" people who won't have the means to maintain the lifestyle.
hartsfull hartsfull 7 years
It's definately the ugliest car I've ever seen. Hmm, will it pull a horse trailer, a stock trailer or bails of hay?
stephley stephley 7 years
Drive what you want. I'm not putting my kid in a can on the highway with SUVs and trucks. In a small country that doesn't have SUVs or our highways, they can go nuts with these.
Brendelwoman Brendelwoman 7 years
I think we have to be very careful about telling other countries what they should be driving. I also think we should be careful telling other Americans what they should be driving. Is it okay for a single person to drive an SUV? Or can only a family of 5 have one? Or none of the above? I drive a crossover, have 3 kids and a dog. We all fit very snugly inside, but perhaps I shouldn't be having so many children so that I can drive a smaller vehicle?
luv2blazy luv2blazy 7 years
If the company makes Jaguar and Land Rover, how bad could it be?
ahles ahles 7 years
It's only a little shorter than the miata.. looks like a family Smart, and is indeed a full foot+ longer than a Smart. Looks like that's the base model, and more luxurious models would have ac and airbags. Very cool, if it had a better top speed. There's a dearth of well made, utilitarian, cheap family cars in the US.
khrystena khrystena 7 years
I would get one but it would be our second car, the one I use to commute to the daycare and work with around town and mainly in residential school zones. We think the Mini cooper is too small for the highways here. MIL has been rearended by trucks in her SUV let alone that thing!
RaCheer RaCheer 7 years
No air conditioning? I live in Florida!!!!
northernstar northernstar 7 years
I'm all for smaller cars but first we have to get those unnecessary SUV's off the roads. Let's pray for gas prices to go back up to $5, maybe they will disappear for good.
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