Toyota, GM Working on Super-Cheap Models, Too

India's $2,500 Tata has market leaders playing catch-up
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 17, 2008 3:56 PM CST
Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe, left, talks to Jim Lentz, president of Toyota Motor Sales USA, before Toyota introduced the Venza at the North American International Auto Show Monday, Jan. 14, 2008...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Work on the world's cheapest cars is underway at the world's biggest car companies, the Associated Press reports. Toyota and GM announced this week at Detroit's North American International Auto show they are working on inexpensive subcompacts similar to India's Tata Motors' $2,500 car and aimed at emerging markets. "There is a huge market for low-cost/price vehicles," Toyota's president said.

But it must be done “properly,” he says, and that could be a challenge given a price tag of $2,500. A GM joint-venture company in China has a $3,500 car in the works, and a GM VP said a car like Tata’s Nano is a possibility but would require further analysis. The Nano is scheduled to hit markets in India this year.