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Tata Motors is already considering bringing its Nano mini-car to Europe – if it passes Euro NCAP with a high safety rating.

The small Nano, which is aimed at the growing middle-class in India, is destined to be a big hit given its low price of 100,000 rupees or about $2850 AUD. However with Indian safety standards no where near as strict as the West, the company faces a big challenge getting the car ready for European markets.

If you remember, the Chinese made Brilliance BS6 made a mockery of itself and Chinese cars in general when it scored only 1-star in the Euro NCAP. It’s obvious Tata doesn’t want to make the same mistake.

Tata has already teased Europe with a glamorous display of the Nano at the Geneva Motor Show.

The Nano promises a revolution on Indian streets, still the domain of the ox-cart, the bicycle and the motor scooter in many parts of the country. Initial production will be 250,000 a year but Tata hopes to eventually sell about 1 million Nanos a year in India - that’s about as many cars as the entire Indian market buys now. But in a country where per capita wealth has doubled since 2000 - and is still growing - that doesn’t seem an outlandish boast.

According to the Indian manufacturer, the Nano already has a full protective frame to meet local Indian safety standards, with the European versions expected to include airbags and other protective systems.

“We will only bring the Nano to Europe if it achieves a four-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash test,” said Girish Wagh, director of the Nano program.

There is currently no time frame for a European invasion, with the company more focused on India, Asia and Africa first (no plans to enter the flooded Chinese market either).

It will be interesting to see how the extra safety equipment will effect the car’s small price, stature and limited power?

Would you consider buying a Nano if it scored four-stars and sold in Australia for less than $10,000?

The Nano is powered by a rear-mounted 623cc two-cylinder 25kW engine driven via a four-speed gearbox and manual steering.




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