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NOT Bad for $3,000 -- India rolls out world's cheapest wheels

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posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 03:31 PM
I have an idea how the near-defunct American car manufacturers can make a comeback, just do what this guy in India did. Make a car that sells for 3K and gets top gas mileage.

posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 08:01 PM
Looks and sounds like a glorified lawnmower. I've trying to envision this thing running @ 50mph (might take 10 minutes to reach that) AND run my A/C. I'm thinking the wheels will fall off long before that. Does into convert into an ipod as well ? If I open the sunroof and attach a trunk fin can it be used as a shopping cart?

Conceptually there's some push here but not enough to convince the western mass markets at this point.


posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 08:02 PM
That would never pass American auto safety standards.

posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 08:57 PM
I've long thought that the US big three should invest in something like this.

Here in Japan, there's an entire vehicle licensing class devoted to small cars - Kei.

Max dimensions: 3.4m x 1.48m, 660cc, 63hp. They're eligible for all kinds of tax breaks, insurance breaks, great on gas, and above all - cheap to buy. I think the current cheapest is the Daihatsu Esse, which can be had new for under 7 grand US. Fleet style versions can be had in the mid 5s.

In my neighbourhood, roughly 40% of the cars parked in front of houses are of this class. They're a first car for most people, a car for the housewife, a perfect company car for local stuff, and so on. Most families I know have one, with a larger (regular) car for out of town driving or family excursions.

The upside off all this is that they sell - in good times and bad. Their production has kept Japanese auto companies afloat through the bad times before, and all signs are that this particular bad time will be just the same. Cheap cars for the masses.

Think about it - take a truck like this one:

The venerable Daihatsu Hijet. Base price: ¥560,000 - about $5,600 USD, give or take (list, not street). How many of these can a small company buy for the price of the smallest GMC pickup? Four? They're everywhere here. Useful and cheap. Small businesses love 'em. My local bakery has four of the van model they use for deliveries. If they were in the states, they certainly wouldn't be able to maintain a fleet of 4 delivery vans - they'd have to get by with one new one, or maybe two old ones - so they'd be able to take on a fraction of the work they do now. They'd have to pay more in insurance, more in gas, and probably have to employ fewer people. Every year, they buy a new van - they replace the oldest of the 4. Every year, the local dealer gets a sale. And so on.

These cars drive the Japanese economy. They're the backbone. If India can get this venture off the ground, it's going to change the country in a big way.

posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 10:44 PM
Actually i have been seeing an increasing amount of these around here in BC (British Columbia, Canada) lately and I was wondering what the heck they were??

I was thinking of making a move on something like that for the amount of driving I do.

posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 11:17 PM
I guess the Tata is good for warmer climes, but it would be pretty useless in areas with any significant snowfall, with those tiny tires.

I like those mini-trucks, though. Very cool.

posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 11:39 PM
reply to post by svpwizard

I think your talking about the Smart Car, the French car that has been introduced to America and Canada. It's a much, much nicer version of ultra mini compared to the Indian car. At least, the Smart Car has two side mirrors at any rate...

I thought the Smart Car was dangerously small when I started seeing them on the road (they are all over Portland now) until one day.. I came outa the store and one was parked next to my Scion xd and really, it wasn't that much smaller than my car lol.

Also to add, the Smart car starts at $11k usa and up to over $20k. Little bit more then the indian car.
I am actually surprised that they are that expensive.. who would pay 20k for a convertible plastic box on wheels that has a whopping 70hp engine??

[edit on 3/31/2009 by Rockpuck]

posted on Apr, 1 2009 @ 12:20 AM
I like how it looks..looks economic friendly. BUt, it dosnt say how much mileage its rated at. And, havint a top speed of what, 80 mph? Thats gunna put strain on the engine, on highway speed, and especailly, if its high mileage.

posted on Apr, 1 2009 @ 12:20 AM
reply to post by Rockpuck

You know you maybe right ...... my brother agrees with you. so I will make sure to find out now, 15-20K for those ... I aint doing it.

posted on Apr, 1 2009 @ 08:32 AM
You see everyone driving to work in the morning w/ one person in a car that gets 20-25 miles per gallon. I don't know that I would take the Tata on a road trip but I would like to have something like this for driving around town. THe Indian Car Company is drawing from a lottery for who gets to buy them, that is how much demand there is. America could do this, maybe not 3,000 but $5,000 certainly. Non-college educated people have to quit demanding $30 an hour for manual labor, that's the long and short of it.

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