News for Public Officials and the People They Serve

The $2500 Car

Robert A. Franco  - SOURCE OF TITLE 

Watch out, Detroit! The country that brought you cheap title searches has announced the world's cheapest car - at $2,500! Of course, the car is plastic and held together with glue.... really! And, though they have been criticized for their environmental impact, the Indian company producing the car, Tata Motors, says that it will meet all of India's emissions standards.

Four years ago Tata Motors embarked on an ambitious project to bring millions of people in India and elsewhere into the car-owning class. Today Chairman Ratan Tata (pictured above) unveiled the result: the Nano, a stripped down car with a 624 cc four-stroke engine that can seat four passengers. The car is a feat of engineering-it's made from plastic parts held together with adhesives-and meets all India's environment standards.

Is there anything left that India cannot do for next to nothing? Soon they may be selling tickets to the moon for $99 round-trip.

I don't think that Americans will be too fond of a 624cc motor producing a whopping 33 horsepower. My motorcycle, a Honda VTX 1800, has an engine nearly 3 times that size and produces more than 100 horsepower. I can't imagine trying to drive this thing uphill in a headwind.

Tata Motors NanoBut, Americans seem to embrace "all things cheap." They put up with poisons in their toys imported from China, they deal with customer service reps that barely speak English, and they buy "knock-off" purses and clothing. Soon, the "made in the U.S.A." label will become a collector's item - anything domestically produced will probably bring top dollar on Ebay.

I guess we really shouldn't be surprised that we are now importing our country's public records from India. Though it seems absurd, it's really just a reflection of our society - "anything to save a buck."

Though I doubt the Tata Nano will be imported into the United States any time soon, if you see one on the road, try not to run over it in your gas-guzzling SUV.


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