Maybe there's something to all this talk about the "new GM." General Motors, which filled its money bin for years by churning out SUVs and other behemoths roughly the size of aircraft carriers, now may be benchmarking ... Tata?
The tiny $2,500 Nano introduced this year by Tata Motors of India has GM pondering an under-$5,000 minicar for emerging markets.
"It's definitely a segment that is interesting," said spokesman Johan Willems, who wouldn't say whether GM is developing such a vehicle.
Willems was responding to a question prompted by a report in The Wall Street Journal. The paper quoted Nick Reilly, newly appointed head of international operations, as saying GM plans a small car built in Asia that would sell for about $4,000.
Willems said Reilly didn't actually use the $4,000 figure. He said that if GM were to make such a vehicle, it would cost less than $5,000 -- suggesting there has been some amount of internal discussion about a cheap microcar.
During the first half of 2009, nearly two-thirds of GM's sales came from markets outside North America.