Tale Of Two Extremes: The New Nano And New Rolls

By Phil LeBeau
|  Monday, Mar 23, 2009  |  Updated 1:15 PM EDT
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Talk about a strange juxtaposition. On the same day Rolls Royce is bringing its new "Baby Rolls" to New York, the world's least expensive, "mass market" car is rolling out in India. The Tata Nano and Rolls Royce 200 EX. One will cost roughly $2,500, the other will be at least 100 times more expensive.

Strange as it sounds, these two cars have more in common than you think.

The Nano represents the hope for a new era in cars and transportation. Not just for the people of India, but millions others in developing countries.

These people live in a world where families pile on scooters and zip through crowded streets. It's not the safest mode of transportation, nor is it comfortable, but in areas where families don't have the money for a traditional car, it's a way to get around.

That's why the new Tata Nano is a game changer. The starting price of $2,500 is within reach for many in India. Sure, people in the U.S. and elsewhere will chuckle about the Nano coming without air bags or anti-lock brakes, but they are missing the bigger picture. This car will finally put tens of thousands behind the wheel.

The Baby Rolls, or as some call it, the Recession Rolls will not impact that many people. Hey, with an estimated starting price of $250,000 to $280,000 it is gonna be hard to change the lives of millions. Still, the Rolls Royce 200 EX which comes out next year is significant.

It will be priced at roughly $100,000 less than the lowest priced Rolls.

The Baby Rolls comes with all the detail and features the wealthy expect, including doors that finish closing automatically so you don't have to do all the work. Yes, I know many of you are reading this and saying, "Hey, I'll never afford a Rolls, why should I care?"

The fact is, the auto industry needs ultra luxury cars. Rolls bringing it's price down shows it is adjusting to a global recession where the extremely wealthy are worth millions less than a few years ago. Still, they have enough money, and plenty of desire to buy a Rolls.

The Nano and Rolls 200 EX. Worlds apart in a world wanting new options behind the wheel.

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