Monday, April 21, 2008

Have You Driven A "Tata" Lately?

Being in the market for new wheels I have found the lowest price vehicle around. The Tata Nano, an Indian car that retails for $2500. The problem? Not available in the US because it does not meet emissions and safety standards. Of course there is the slightly more costly Chery QQ at $4500. The problem? It’s made in China and the manufacturing defects are usually visible to the untrained eye. Door panels that meet at odd angles and peeling paint on a brand new car.

I have not seriously considered these Asian cars mainly because of their incredibly poor safety records and emission problems. They are harbingers of what is to come though. A flood of cheap Asian cars is moving into world markets in countries where emissions controls are a joke and safety concerns are non-existent. Because of this China is managing to flood markets in South America and other developing countries.

Car and driver recently tested a Chinese model, the Brilliance BS6. According to their report, “an ice cube stands a better chance of survival in the Sahara than the driver of a BS6 does in a severe front or side impact". Strong words! BMW is partnering in the venture and it is doubtful whether they will risk their reputation on importing such a car into the US, however the Chinese have big dreams. One auto manufacturer flatly states that in 5 years Chinese cars will be known for quality as well as price in the US.

Now if they could just get the lead paint out of the toys they make!

Here is video of a crash test of the Chinese car!

1 comment:

Zelda Rose said...

Oh, you do know Tata just bought Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford? Talk about creating a wide vehicle range...

The Chinese will eventually figure out how to make very cheap cars that will last just long enough to fool people into forgetting how crappy they are. But I don't plan on owning one anytime soon...