Commentary

India pioneers $2,500 car

For those wishing the car would just go away, India has a surprise: Tata motors is going to be selling the “People’s Car” for just $2,500.

Next fall, the Indian automaker Tata Motors is scheduled to introduce its long-awaited People’s Car, with a sticker price of about $2,500. Hot on its tail may be as many as half a dozen new ultra-affordable vehicles ââ?¬â?? some from the world’s leading carmakers, including Toyota and Renault-Nissan.

India is expected to overcome China next year as the world’s fastest growing car market, according to the New York Times.

To tap that emerging market, automakers are starting to respond to Indians’ desire for small and cheap cars. As a result, car companies are coming up with new ways to develop and build automobiles worldwide.

Unfortunately, planners in India and China are more focused on providing transit than planning for the emergence of the auotmobile. Can you say “congestion”? They ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Samuel R. Staley, Ph.D. is a senior research fellow at Reason Foundation and managing director of the DeVoe L. Moore Center at Florida State University in Tallahassee where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in urban planning, regulation, and urban economics. Prior to joining Florida State, Staley was director of urban growth and land-use policy for Reason Foundation where he helped establish its urban policy program in 1997.