Tata chairman hints at Fiat help on Nano - magazine

MILAN, Jan 15 (Reuters) - The chairman of Indian automaker Tata Motors TAMO.BO has left open the possibility of bringing the Nano to Europe and hinted at Fiat FIA.MI helping it out with the world's cheapest car.

In an interview with Italian car magazine Automobilismo, Ratan Tata also said he would keep the Jaguar and Land Rover luxury brands true to their roots if the Indian automaker were to buy them from U.S. automaker Ford F.N.

“It is indispensable that Jaguar and Land Rover remain two brands that are authentically English,” he was quoted as saying in an advanced copy of an article to come out in the next issue of the magazine. “Altering their Britishness would be crazy.”

A copy of the article was obtained by Reuters on Tuesday.

For the opposite end of the market, Tata unveiled the Nano at the New Delhi autoshow last Thursday. At a dealer price of 100,000 rupees ($2,500), it hailed the four-seater as the world’s cheapest car, designed for millions of poor consumers in developing countries.

Asked about the possibility of eventually bringing the car to Europe, Tata said: “I don’t exclude anything. It is an option that we are still considering but I don’t think it’s impossible.”

Regarding the likelihood of expanding Tata’s partnership with Italy’s Fiat to include the Nano, he said: “I will talk about it with (Fiat Chief Executive Sergio) Marchionne.”

It was not clear what kind of help Fiat could offer Tata.

Fiat declined to commment on the report. It has said in the past that it would be willing to provide technical support to Tata if it were to end up buying Jaguar and Land Rover.

Tata and Fiat already have a joint venture to make cars, trucks, engines, and transmissions.

(Reporting by Gilles Castonguay; Editing by Rory Channing)

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