Maker of India's $2,500 car tries selling $7,800 home


Just as it targeted the "bottom of the pyramid" with its inexpensive $2,500 Nano car, the Indian company Tata is going after those same consumers by selling low-cost housing for as low as $7,800.

The 1,000 tiny apartments will be from 283 square feet to 465 square feet and will built outside Mumbai and sell for $7,800 to $13,400 each, according to a BusinessWeek story. Other low-cost projects are planned outside other major cities.

That segment of the market was largely overlooked during the housing boom, as India's builders concentrated on building new high rises and mansions on golf courses. Increasing land prices forced them to chase the higher profits that came with high-end properties.

But some business consultants suggested that providing housing to the "bottom of the pyramid," where the bulk of consumers are, would lead to greater targets.

The apartments will be built in an industrial area where many lower-wage commuters already rent. The community will have its own garden, post office, meeting hall, schools and hospital.

The small apartments are targeted at people earning $6,000 to $10,000 a year. According to the BusinessWeek story, the average call center employee with 10 to 20 years of experience earns 320,000 rupees a year, or about $6,400.

With auto transportation being brought to the mainstream Indian population, bringing low-cost housing to them seems like a better necessity.