Many news sources reported that yesterday India's Tata Motors unveiled the world's least expensive car, the bare bones Tata Nano, costing $2,500.00.
While that price alone generated a lot of headlines, Hit & Run puts that number in perspective by comparing the Nano's price with the costs of the Ford Model T, the Volkswagen Beetle, and the Yugo, adjusting prices both directions to account for inflation. The comparisons illustrate how extraordinary Tata's achievement truly is.
In 1909, the Model T cost $825; today, it would cost around $18,000. In 1909 dollars, the Nano would cost $115. In 1961, the Beetle cost $1,565; today, it would cost around $10,500. In 1961 dollars, the Nano would cost $375. In 1985, the Yugo cost $3,990; today, it would cost around $7,500. In 1985 dollars, the Nano would cost less than $1,400 (Hit & Run's number is off; my estimate is drawn from information provided by a commenter).