US version of Nano to be displayed at Detroit show

Tata Nano, the world's cheapest car, may hit the US market sooner than expected, as the company has announced that it will be on display for the US audience for the first time next week.

Tata Technologies, the American arm of Tata Motors with its headquarters in Michigan near Chicago, said it would put Nano on display on 14 January at the Detroit auto show, the next automotive extravaganza after the ongoing and heavily hyped 10th auto expo in New Delhi. (View: Auto videos | Auto picture galleries)

During a press meet at the Detroit Science Center, where the show would be held, Tata Technologies' president and chief operating officer Warren Harris said the company would "show the car to highlight its end-to-end vehicle engineering and design capabilities for the auto industry and customers."

"The innovative thinking that brought the Tata Nano to market is symbolic of what Tata Technologies has to offer the automotive industry," Harris added.

The announcement came just a day after Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata said this week at the Delhi show that the company would consider launching Nano in the US in the next three years.

He had said there was a market for the Nano not only in developing countries but also in developed countries.

The Nano was the biggest draw at last year's Delhi expo, where it was introduced. This time around, Tata Motors has on display a more upmarket Nano, with a price tag of Rs2.5 lakh - about double of what the basic version costs.

The new version has some interior add-ons and flashier colours. It is largely aimed at the woman driver - which is perhaps appropriate, as the inspiration for the car was the gearless scooter, also largely aimed at lady riders.