Friday, January 11, 2008

Nice Ta-Ta's

So this is Tata Motor's 1-Lakh car, or roughly $2,500 (but buy soon, before the dollar drops some more!).

It's pretty impressive, imho, and looks a bit like the Japan Domestic Market kei-cars, especially the Mitsubishi i-Car.

A lot of commentators on car blogs, such as Autoblog, are blasting it, but it's because they simply do not get Asia and the emerging market. For $2,500, you're getting a car a bit smaller and with less motive force than a Matiz - and the Daewoo is about $10k ($18k in Vietnam due to taxes).

You're talking about people replacing Yamaha Nuovos, Piaggos, Honda @, and other upmarket motorbikes for something that is safer, more useful in weather, more capacious, still relatively thrifty with fuel (50mpg) *and* has lower emissions. I am pretty darn sure it wouldn't meet US emissions controls, but this thing is designed to reduce emissions if you're trading up from domestically (as in India, or Vietnam, or other emerging markets) available motorbikes.

Tata will be too busy satisfying the local market, but someone should import this thing to Vietnam.

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