In an interview published by BusinessWeek, Suzuki Chairman Osamu Suzuki has questioned the business sense of rival Tata's plans to make a low-cost car in India.

Tata's 1-lakh/USD3,000 car is due to be shown for the first time at the Delhi Motor Show in January. Some observers have questioned whether the car can really be made at such a low price.

"There is a slight lack of clarity about this $3,000 figure. Does it refer to the actual retail price? Or does it refer to the cost of materials that are used in preparing this automobile? It's not quite clear," Suzuki told reporters.

He also raised doubts over safety and environmental performance in such a cheap vehicle. "There's [also] not much clarity about which standards, and [by] which year, this $3,000 car is aiming to fulfill," he said. "Will airbags be included? Will seatbelts?"

Suzuki added that the Japanese automaker is working towards meeting stricter emissions standards around the world, something seemingly impossible for an ultra-cheap car to achieve. "Right now, in Europe we have the Euro3 standards, and soon we will have the Euro4 standards and around 2013 the Euro5 standards will also be implemented. Are [Tata] only planning to release it domestically in India? Are they thinking of exports? There is so much that is not known about this car."

Suzuki currently leads the Indian car market and could see its entry-level models heavily undercut by Tata's 1-lakh car.  

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