Tata Motors is thinking about offering a version of its Nano for the U.S. market, according to reports. It seems that Tata is considering such a project due to the success of the Fiat 500 and the Chevy Spark. Back in 2009 when the Tata Nano made its debut as the cheapest car available, it got a lot of attention. However, it wasn’t successful when it came to sales.
According to the Indian Express, Tata sold only 74,527 units in Fiscal Year 2011, which is decent but it failed to reach the initial targets. Another obstacle that the Tata Nano faced was in 2009 and 2010 when there were reported cases of electrical/exhaust fires. The company said that these problems had already been repaired. The Tata Nano faces several challenges before it can get the go signal to be available in the U.S.
First of all, it doesn’t have airbags or two wing mirrors. It also doesn’t have any traction or stability control or power steering. It is powered by a 624-cc two-cylinder Bosch engine that has an output of just 37hp. If a Tata Nano does arrive in the U.S., it would likely be a production car based on the 2009 Nano Europa concept, which is powered by a three-cylinder engine partnered to an automatic transmission.
The Nano would also have to be fitted with electric power steering, ABS, stability control, and airbags. Since the Europa was built to pass European emissions standards, it’s expected to meet the requirements in the U.S. Of course, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety first have to inspect the vehicle before making any conclusions. It’s expected that the final American Tata Nano would be priced around $10,000, which would mean that Tata can surely add safety and comfort elements to the small hatchback.