NEW YORK India's Tata Motors (TAMO.BO) hopes to offer the Nano, dubbed the world's cheapest car, in the United States within two years, its chairman said.
"It will need to meet all emission and crash standards and so we hope in the next two years we will be offering such a vehicle in the U.S," Ratan Tata told a panel at the Cornell Global Forum on Sustainable Global Enterprise late Wednesday.
The company plans to offer a European version of the car, which costs about $2,300, in 2011.
Tata got the idea to make a car that poor people could afford while thinking about the motorbike and scooter riders who maneuver through the streets of Indian cities with their children on board.
The four-seater car gets up to 65 miles per gallon (28 km per liter). Cheap labor helps to keep the price down.
Tata said his company was also working to develop cars that run on fuels other than gasoline such as clean diesel, biofuels and batteries.
The Nano debuted in showrooms in January 2008, but production was delayed by protests over land use where a plant was to be located. The cars will be available in India by July with a lottery to select the first 100,000 owners.
(Reporting by Timothy Gardner, editing by Ted Kerr)