Jaguar Land Rover’s Indian parent company is in the process of setting up a new UK dealer network to retail the Nano – the world’s cheapest passenger car.
But by the time the European version of the Nano reaches British showrooms in 2012 at a projected price of £4,400, it is likely to be more than three times more expensive than the tiny five-door hatchback it is based on.
“I can confirm work is going on to identify potential network partners and the plan is for our brand to be marketed completely under its own name,” corporate communications chief Debasis Ray told AM.
Tata has marketed its B-segment Indica supermini and the Safari sport utility vehicle for some time in Spain, Italy and Turkey and a version of the Indica appeared in Britain badged as the City Rover prior to the demise of MG Rover.
But ambitions to make low-cost models more widely available across key EU markets are leading the firm to develop a bespoke European line-up offering improved specification, higher comfort levels and more features.
With a slightly longer wheelbase, the new model has more interior space than the base Nano and standard equipment includes electric power steering, ABS braking with stability control and
airbags. Its three-cylinder petrol motor is mated with a five-speed automatic transmission.
Alongside the Europa will be the Vista, the latest version of the Indica, available with 1.4-litre petrol or 1.3-litre diesel engines or with an electric motor with a 200km range from a polymer lithium ion battery.