India’s largest car maker, Tata Motors, is planning to launch a new Minicar in 2008 priced at just over $2,000. Production numbers are estimated at close to a million units per year to satisfy demand in India, but the company hasn’t ruled out exports to global markets including the US and Europe. Tata has already sold vehicles in markets outside of India, including its City Rover that was sold by MG Rover in the UK, which started at just under $10,000.

With China and Russia already producing cars that sell locally for around $4,000, the addition of the Tata model will help create a new market for budget based minicars. However, it’s unlikely that the new model could be delivered to international markets at prices that low, though it could easily undercut the cheapest models from Korea and Japan. Tata has worked closely with Italy’s Fiat, which has provided the company with extensive knowledge on producing world class vehicles in terms of safety and quality.

Excerpts from Tata’s latest annual report state that "the styling and designing of the car have been completed and prototypes are being tested in the plant. It will be a rear engine, 4-5 seat, four-door car with about a 30 horsepower engine and set for launch in 2008." The image above was sourced from Germany’s Autobild, and shows a possible design direction for the new car.