India Offers the World's Cheapest Automobiles - “Free Car, Anyone?”
India's Tata Motors blazes the automotive trail with the world's cheapest automobile.
The cars aren't literally free, but at its expected $2500 price tag, it is closer to a giveaway than any other car company has managed. It’s creator? India’s Tata Motors, the overly ambitious auto manufacturer, and its leader Ratan Tata who is playfully referred to as the Henry Ford of India.
His latest vision is a four-seat car with a rear engine and built in the cheapest way possible in factories residing in his native land. The car will then be shipped to buyers in locations such as Afghanistan and Zanzibar. The expected price once it hits the U.S.? Around $2500. Probably.
The $2500 price tag comes from its direct dollar conversion from 100,000 rupees, making the car’s buying cost about half of India’s currently cheapest automobile. Since we Americans like to complicate things with taxes and hidden fees, it may be much more than $2500, but for now that is the pie in the sky figure being given to consumers.
Now Ratan Tata is pushing the envelope even further with his cheap as dirt car design, declaring that it will produce less pollution than any other vehicle currently cruising the streets of India. However, environmentalists are crying foul, since an uber-cheap car will cause more traffic congestion and still, in turn, trigger higher pollution levels.
One other issue with creating the world’s cheapest car? A conflict of interest. Tata is slated to potentially acquire the Land Rover and Jaguar units of Ford, leaving people asking – how can the king of the $2000 car sell a different automobile for over $100,000? Apparently India’s most innovative car dealer doesn’t take solely one demographic into consideration.