Tata Motors ( TTM , quote ), maker of the Nano, the world's cheapest car, will bring plenty of vehicles acros the border when Burma opens up. But few of those car will be the Nano, even though the average income for Burna's 62 million citizens is barely $2.20 a day.
What Tata Motors will sell will be high-end Range Rovers and Land Rovers from its subsidiary.
As detailed in articles on www.emergingmoney.com , Tata Motors has been disappointed by the sales of the Nano. A major reason cited in an article in Time magazine is, according to a rival car executive, no one in India wants to be seen driving the world's cheapest car.
This will undoubtedly hold true in Burma as the initial buyers will be the elite. An economy car from Honda Motors ( HMC , quote ) will not meet the status demands of the Burmese high end buyer nor the challenges of the primitive transportation network in the country.
What will meet both of these is a Range Rover or Land Rover from the subsidiary of Tata Motors. In the wake of Britian's colonial empire, Range Rovers and Land Rovers are well regarded throughout Africa and Asia.
Ironically, it will be the luxury vehicles from Tata Motors that sell best in the poorest countries.
More sales of these high-margin vehicles is certainly needed by Tata Motors as its stock price -- like that of the exchange-traded fund for the automobile industry, First Trust Global Auto Index ( CARZ , quote ) -- is near its low for the year.