Indian Motorists Moving On Up

May.25.09 | About: Tata Motors (TTM)

I guess car buyers are pretty much the same all over the world.

From the NYT:

The chairman of Tata Motors (NYSE:TTM), Ratan Tata, had 500 engineers work for four years designing the world’s lowest-cost car, convinced that cost-conscious Indian drivers could live without air-conditioning and cup holders.

But only 20 percent of Tata’s initial 203,000 orders for the car — the Nano — were for the no-frills $2,600 model. Instead, half of the customers booked the top-end model, which costs 40 percent more.

“My children need to travel comfortably,” said Neelakandan Raveendran, 51, who ordered the most expensive version of the Nano as his first car. The bank clerk earns 24,000 rupees, or about $500, a month and will split the cost of the car with his daughter.

They’ll be buying SUV’s in no time.