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Home > Magazine > Motors > The $2500 "People's" Car -- 54mpg!

The $2500 "People's" Car -- 54mpg!
September 21, 2008

India makes sweet new-tech motor vehicles. (I have a post here about their zippy motorcycles that go 50mph and get 100mpg. Not allowed in the US, yet.)

The Tata car company recently announced its $2500 car, the Nano.

It's called the People's Car.

They say it's meant to bring cars to India's masses.

Well, America needs People's Cars, too!

A car like this could bring better economics to us, too, doncha think?

Right now America suffers under the burden of its expensive gas-guzzlers.

But America needs People's CULTURE even more than it needs cars. Culture leads, after all. First comes the right culture THEN the right cars.

Maybe these cars don't meet certain specs. Whatever. (Specs designed to help Americans? --Maybe help them spend all their money on cars?) Let's bring over a few freighters to both coasts. Start smuggling cheap little cars over the borders instead of drugs. The American economy would get liberated like we haven't seen.

...And bring over those little motorbikes, too.

Let the current crop of motorbikes sold in the USA get their average of 30-45mpg. I'm sure they're suitable for some (rich) folks. Let's see what happens when we get a few freighters of zippy, versatile 100mpg motos brought over here.

I'm game for the experiment!

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Reader Comments - Add Your Own Comment
wilco - la crosse, posted on Sep 24, 2008
Seems like tough sell in America...looks pretty spartan, and lots of Americans just won't fit in a small car. Plus, it can be intimidating to be in a small vehicle with all the giant pickup trucks and SUVs around. When I was young, I drove small cars, Triumphs and Fiats, that were totalled in collisions because the other driver just didn't see my little car. That said, more and more people are waking up to the idea of energy efficiency, and the manufacturers that survive will surely give us better products soon.

In my case, I need a wagon with room for 2 people, a big dog, and stuff for a weekend. Gimme that and 40 mpg highway and I'll buy it.
JP - Wee-um-stun, posted on Sep 24, 2008
Thanks for writing, Wilco!

I have a theory... It relates to the experience of Honda with its Fit microcar. They never brought it to the US because "it wouldn't sell." Then they ran out of hybrids and brought a few Fits over as a test---sold out. Now they import as many as they can make.

Sure, some Americans won't want a cheap little car. But I'd bet that millions would. My theory goes on to suggest that (most) people really do NOT identify with cars, despite what the ads say. (There's no there there.) But they do need them to get to work and play. And they do see how their pockets are empty due to using the currently available models. So I turn my theory to math --- little car = more money --- and I'm game to let the results do the talkin'! : ) True, your driving technique has to change, but people are highly adaptable. You'll also have to get used to having more money! : )

Mostly, it seems like the cheap utility car is a sector that hasn't been well-served. When the freighters full of Nano's arrive we'll see what happens! My hunch is that the crime bosses (gatekeepers and nannies) won't be able to keep them out for much longer.
i-demand-no-login linda - seattle, posted on Sep 24, 2008
i've never seen such teeny wheels!
are you sure it isn't powered like a flintstone vehicle?