The "Peoples Car" from Tata

tata_logo.pngThe Indian car scene these days is down right exciting for a car guy. Unfortunately, it’s not about the horsepower or hotness of the cars but instead the business side of it. Everything from clean energy to low priced cars. Just 20 years ago you had two options if you wanted to buy a car: an Ambassador or Fiat.

It’s the night before the big announcement in Delhi from Tata Motors about their new USD 2500 vehicle, the world’s cheapest car (even cheaper then the Yugo from 1986 when factoring in inflation). If you’ve been to India and have seen 3-5 people on a scooter then you’ll know who this car is targeted at.

The NY Times has a great article on the new car. One of the most notable things I picked up from the article was that most carmakers buy no more than 10 percent to 15 percent of parts electronically however this car has about 30 percent to 40 percent sourced electronically.

The new Tata car is only one of many news stories around the Indian car scene:

– Bajaj introduced their low priced concept car in Delhi on Tuesday. The majority of Indians travel via two wheelers and the king of the hill in that segment is Bajaj. It’s their first attempt at a four wheel vehicle.

– Ford announced a USD 500 million investment into India, to source parts and expand it’s operations.

– Tata Motors in addition to the low end segment is also looking at the luxury segment. It’s currently in a bidding war for Jaguar and Land Rover.

– Clean energy cars are currently being made in India by Reva. They may not look as sexy as the Telsa, but for city use the Reva is the smarter option. (SIDENOTE: it is me, or do you hum the song Signs every time you here the word Tesla?)

That’s a status check on the Indian automotive scene.  If the US is headed for a recession, I’m assuming there will be even more deals announced which means more options for the Indian consumer.

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