Following up on yesterday's post about the new Tata Motors "people's car": The Indian carmaker today revealed the car's name. It's the Nano. As in very, very small--just over 3 meters (10 feet) long, with a 30-horsepower engine. The target market is owners of two-wheelers--mainly scooters and motorcycles--looking for more carrying capacity, safety, and weather protection. It's being called the world's cheapest car.
As a name, "Nano" is no creative breakthrough--indeed, Jalopnik wonders how long it'll be before Apple files a lawsuit for trademark infringement. (A long time, I'm guessing, unless Apple has automobile development up its corporate sleeve. The trademark classes are just too different. And Tata seems to have worked at least a small deal with the Lords of Cupertino: submit the winning slogan for the new Nano and you'll win an iPod Shuffle.)
The car is cute, but what I love is the Anglo-Indian styling of the press release. You just don't find language like "Four doors with high seating position make ingress and egress easy" in U.S. corporate communications.
And "Tata Nano" has a certain mantra-like quality: a combination of nursery babble and extraterrestrial lingua franca. You can imagine Mork saying it to Mindy. Or Kang saying it to Kodos. It even sounds like "daddy grandpa" in some mixture of--oh, I don't know--Hindi and Sicilian.
See lots of Nano photos here.