How much of a risk would you be willing to take if it meant saving a little bit of money on a new automobile? Would you go without such basic features as electronic stability control? What about airbags? We may soon find out how far Americans will go to save a buck once what’s largely considered to be the world’s cheapest car comes ashore.
The vehicle in question is known as the Tata Nano, and many believe it to have the best price tag of any automobile in the world. It’s also reviled by many consumers due to its supposed safety deficiencies. Currently available in India, the automobile has a plastic body and lacks airbags, ESC, and other safety features that come standard with other vehicles. It also has only 37 horsepower.
But what it lacks in power and safety it apparently makes up for with its price point. The vehicle costs only $3,500 in India, but even with that entry point, sales have not been stellar, largely because of widely reported issues such as sudden fires and other recalls that entailed mechanical fixes.
Tata now wants to bring the vehicle over to the United States, and the company promises that it will meet the more stringent demands of the American public and the federal government. For one thing, those aforementioned safety features like airbags will have to be installed, and there are plans to increase the horsepower by at least a little bit. But the price is also likely to jump to $10,000.
It’s not expected, though, that the vehicle will be markedly safer for the American market. And with a price hovering not that far below other vehicles that do conform to standard safety requirements, it’s far from a guarantee that American audiences will accept this vehicle as is.