What Can Tata's Nano Teach Detroit?

Tata Managing Director, Ravi Kant, and Chairman, Ratan Tata, pose next to a Nano car at the recent Geneva Motor Show. Miguel Villagran/Getty Images

When Tata Motors (TTM) unveiled a prototype of its Nano microcar at the Delhi Auto Show in January 2008, auto executives around the world were aflutter. Quickly, they hustled teams to India to document the planned $2,000 "people's car." And industry watchers and innovation experts soon reported on the engineering and supply-chain breakthroughs behind the car.

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