India's Tata Motors plans to unveil its ultracheap
$2,500 car at an auto show here next month, the company said
Analysts believe the car may force other manufacturers to lower
their own pricing.
While the price has created a buzz, critics say the vehicle will
lead to millions more cars hitting choked Indian roads, adding to
mounting air and noise pollution problems. Others have said Tata
will have to sacrifice quality and safety standards to meet the
The four-door car, which will have a rear engine, is expected to
go on sale in the later part of 2008, the company said in a
Company chairman Ratan Tata has said the car will be the least
polluting vehicle on the Indian roads and meet necessary safety
Initially, the company plans to make between 250,000 to 500,000
of the cars each year, Tata told The Associated Press in a recent
interview. While the base model will cost 100,000 rupees, the
company will offer two variants with added features, he said.
German auto consulting firm CSM Worldwide has said the new car
could help Tata Motors emerge as the country's largest manufacturer
of cars and light commercial vehicles by 2013.
Currently, Tata Motors has a 17 per cent share of India's market.
Besides the ultracheap car, Tata Motors will also display several
new cars that it plans to bring to the Indian market in
collaboration with Italian auto maker Fiat Spa. The auto show in New
Delhi opens Jan. 9.