No Nano in North America

GM’s Product Czar Bob Lutz told the media who had surrounded him like overly polite sharks looking at a meal that the likelihood that GM would produce a $2,500 car is highly unlikely.

Tata Motors’ new Nano is basically a step above a moped, which is what many folks in India are carting their families around on right now. He also noted he’d like to see which version of the Nano is available for that price, suggesting that the version that was rolled out for the media was going to be $2,500.

He also noted that GM’s Wooling Motors venture in China has been turning out $2,500 minivans and other small commercial vehicles for several years now and that it was ultimately not that big a deal.

Finally, Lutz reminded everyone that in order to develop a $2,500 vehicle for the North American market, there would need to be a demand for a $2,500 new car…or even a $6,000 new car for that matter.

“You can get a seven- or eight-year-old Taurus with 60,000 or 70,000 miles on it for about that much money and will have a lot of miles left on it,” he said after a speech during the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit last week.

Ultimately Lutz reminded us all that basically the way to meet the needs of consumers while achieving government-mandated requirements is not a moped on steroids, but working on a variety of new technologies simultaneously to figure out how best to make everyone happy.

Carnival of Wheels: Edition #54

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Another week has come and gone here in The Garage and that means another Sunday morning sifting through submissions for the Carnival of Wheels. It is interesting to note that 4 out of 5 of this week’s submissions are on the same topic. Obviously the auto industry has some big changes coming and a lot of bloggers are interested. First off, let’s head to one of our long time contributors.

Brian Vermette from RaceDriven is getting all in a tizzy waiting for the 2008 Barrett-Jackson auction to start next week. I must admit that it is exciting watching all the characters have at each other over a hot ride, not to mention the bidder helpers. Who’s gonna win, will it be the hottie or the screamer? What is going to bring the most outrageous number when the dust settles? Will it be Carroll Shelby’s GT500 convertible, or John Schneider’s General Lee? We’ll just have to tune in and watch for ourselves.

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Tata Toy

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Well, the moment we have all been waiting for. Tata yesterday officially released there “Peoples Car”, the Nano. At $2,500 this “gadget” is barely highway worthy with a 625cc engine. My personal opinion – a car created to create media hype for Tata, not the car of the masses they are promoting, although some of the hype does seem to have other automotive suits worried that they are lagging behind in the toy business.

I know we have some visitors who open the Garage door in India, what’s your opinion?
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