atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#1583: It will cost lots more than $2,300 here.

Tata plans to sell the Nano here in the US. They'll sell it in Europe for around $2,300 but when it comes time to sell it here, it will cost more. Why?

Because the safety standards in the US are stricter, that's why.

I would wager that many of the safety features required by US law are absent in the Nano--little things like air bags and side impact beams.

By the way, it always bugs the everloving crap out of me when some car ad touts "side impact beams" as a special safety feature. The car better have them; they've only been required by law for decades. Sheesh. Take the outer door skin off, for example, a Fiero; you'll find a heavy corrugated piece of steel across the entire door. That's the side impact beam. It's there to prevent (or, at least, to try to prevent) something from just coming in through the door during a collision. It has the effect of tying the A and B pillar of the car together, thus strengthening the safety cage. (The safety cage is another federally-mandated safety feature. Advertising these features is like telling people your car comes with wheels! for a more efficient motoring experience! WTF! DUH!)

Anyway, it's probable that the Nano lacks many of the things that our oh-so-beneficient government requires us to have on our cars, so either they'll have to build the things on a different assembly line (thus increasing the cost) or modify the current assembly line to generate cars that are street-legal in the US (thus increasing the cost). Either way, they're not going to be selling any cars here for $2,300.

If the Tata Nano costs less than $10,000 I will be amazed.

On the other hand, though, a cheap car could do wonders here. Say that--through some miracle--Tata manages to sell the thing for just $6,000. It gets 65 MPG; people will buy it, because an econobox selling for $6,000 has a price that is approximately in line with its perceived value. ("Perceived", that is, by the average consumer.) People won't expect a fancy car for $6,000, and as long as the thing is reliable, it'll sell, and keep selling.

It will have to do better than the Yugo did. The Yugos that survived longer than about a year without major failures were good cars--there are plenty that are still on the roads--but too many of them had something big go wrong too soon after purchase. For the average Yugo enthusiast, that means a plethora of parts cars, but for Yugo itself it meant a very poor market perception.

(WTF did people expect for $5,000? But I drove one, and liked the experience. They're kind of fun.)

A $6,000 Nano would be, in fact, less expensive in adjusted dollars than that $5,000 Yugo was. The dollar is worth about half what it was worth in 1987.

I don't really expect the Nano to be the end of the econobox market, though. Cheap cars tend to be cheaply made, and that generally means they're not durable or convenient enough for the American market. Probably it'll end up being another Yugo; and that's unfortunate.

* * *

A chink in the armor of the anthropogenic global warming "theory": Goddard Space Flight Center has finally acknowledged that the sun actually plays a role in Earth's climate!

This is James Hansen's place, and formerly the party line was that the sun played no role in global warming.

Now that it's "climate change", though, I guess it's less of a problem to admit that the sun--which provides all the energy which warms the Earth!--actually has something to do with how warm the Earth is. (Or isn't, as the case may be.)

About damn time, too. It was only bleeding obvious.

* * *

Microsoft says it will have to move jobs offshore if Obama's tax plans go into effect. Surprising? Not even remotely. Obama is the most anti-business President this country has had in a long time. (I want to say "since FDR" but I'm sure that Johnson wasn't materially better than FDR. And, by the way, Johnson was a "Dixiecrat".) Boortz finishes with, "Watch...the Democrats have plans for an economic Berlin Wall. Any jobs caught trying to climb over the wall will be shot."

Count on it; the Democrats will make it illegal or very, very expensive to move jobs offshore.

* * *

Liberals are beginning to wonder WTF they voted for. Well, part of it is that--having won the election--plenty of their constituents are no longer all that interested in politics.

"Our movement lacks muscle and bone density," Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison said. Of course it does; most of those jerks are vegetarians!

* * *

The lovely and brilliant Michelle Malkin: "Lady Justice is now protected by a security force armed with billy clubs and lawyers who serve the cause of protecting the re-election of Barack Obama over the rule of law."

* * *

This weekend is the big Crete yard sale. Whee.
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