Yes, that's a Tata Nano on display about 2 miles up the road from the Detroit auto show. And yes, Indian billionaire Ratan Tata still intends to sell the inexpensive car in the United States.
But no, the car on display at the Detroit Science Center isn't the car intended for U.S. consumers.
"It's too early," says David Good, chief representative for Tata's U.S. holding company, Tata Sons Ltd. in Arlington, Va. "We haven't designed the U.S. version yet."
Good has been turning away prospective U.S. retailers who have contacted the company to discuss becoming Tata dealers. "We are still three or so years away from U.S. sales," Good says. "We haven't decided how this will be structured."
Company Chairman Ratan Tata recently told reporters in India that the U.S. version of the car will have a larger engine and will have to be re-engineered to meet American regulatory requirements. Such changes are certain to inflate the price beyond what it sells for in India: about $2,500.
Tata is showing the car in Detroit to draw attention to the company's U.S. automotive engineering subsidiary in suburban Detroit: Tata Technologies, formerly known as Incat.
A spokesman for the engineering group said the U.S. operation had a hand in developing the Indian car and will help develop the U.S. version
(Source: Automotive News)