Tata Nano 2008 Geneva Motor Show
A rear-mounted 623cc two-cylinder 25kW engine, an overall length of 3.1m, a four-speed gearbox and manual steering may not be the sort of specification CarAdvice readers drool over, but imagine you’re an Indian office worker sick of riding a scooter to work in the monsoon and taking your whole family out on it on weekends.
For the record, the body is sheet metal – it was going to be plastic – and air conditioning and an airbag will be optional on the luxury version.
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.