TOKYOAn ultralow-priced car that Nissan Motor Co. proposes to source from India could find its way to the U.S. market.
Nissan would first sell the $2,500 car in India in 2010. But the automaker also is envisioning selling it around the world, including in the United States, according to Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn.
The big question is: Can you have this car outside of India? Ghosn told a small group of reporters here today. We dont have enough data yet.
He said the export countries would consist of mature markets the U.S. and Canada, Europe and Japan.
Ghosn said he has not signed off on the basic plan of using Indian motorcycle maker Bajaj Auto Ltd. to produce the car. He is scheduled to meet with Bajaj executives on Monday in Pune, India.
But Ghosn clearly is inspired by a program at Indian rival Tata Motors Ltd. to build a $3,000 car. If somebody can do it, we can do it, he said.
Tata plans to come to market in India in 2008.
Ghosn said the only way to produce an ultralow-priced car would be to go to a country where $3,000 is an expensive car.
You need a frugal mind, he said. You dont need anything in the car that is not needed by customers.
He acknowledged that Western market regulations would require additional content on the car, such as crash protection reinforcements.
But even if you reinforce a $3,000 car, he conjectured, you still can have a car around $3,000.