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The Tata Nano may be small in stature, but it could be a big deal for car buyers in India.
Mumbai-based automaker Tata Motors on Monday announced that the time has come for the commercial launch of the Nano, a diminutive design intended to put four-wheeled transportation in the driveways of ever more Indian families. Some analysts also say the Nano signals positive development in the Indian auto industry.
"Nano is good for India. It marks the country's coming of age," Abdul Majeed, auto analyst at PricewaterhouseCoopers, told ZDNet Asia in a phone interview.
When it unveiled the Nano in January 2008, Tata billed it as "the people's car," a step up from overcrowded, unsheltered scooters. (On Monday, for whatever reason, the "people's car" phrase was not to be found on the company's press material or the Tata Web site.)
That remains the driving notion behind the car. "It is to the credit of the team at Tata Motors that a car once thought impossible by the world is now a reality," Ratan Tata, the chairman of Tata Sons and Tata Motors, said in a statement Monday. "I hope it will provide safe, affordable, four-wheel transportation to families who till now have not been able to own a car."
Just 3 meters long by 1.5 meters wide by 1.6 meters high (about 10 feet long by 5 feet wide and tall), the Tata Nano provides what the company says is "an incredibly spacious passenger compartment which can comfortably seat four adults." The company goes on:
The Tata Nano has the smallest exterior footprint for a car in India but is 21 percent more spacious than the smallest car available today. A high seating position makes ingress and egress easy. Its small size coupled with a turning radius of just 4 meters makes it extremely maneuverable in the smallest of parking slots.
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