In June 2003, I wrote “The Chinese Car”, asking what would happen to the U.S. economy when a perfectly functional car could be purchased for between $2000 and $3000. The posting predicted that we’d have our inexpensive car some time between 2013 and 2023. It looks as though 2013 is more likely than 2023 and that India will be the source rather than China. See http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/23/tata-nano-launched-in-mumbai/ and http://www.cnbc.com/id/29841926 . Tata has delivered the Nano, for $2200, and only six months late, despite having had to relocate its factory.
[The cheapest Chinese cars right now sell for about $5000.]