Company boss Ratan Tata said the no-frills vehicle, slated to cost just 100,000 rupees (2,000 dollars) for the basic model, will get India's middle-class urban population off motorcycles and into safer, affordable cars.
"I think we are at the gates of offering a new form of transport to the people of India and later, I hope, other markets elsewhere in the world," he said, describing the launch as a "milestone."
"The present economic situation makes it somewhat... more attractive to the buying public," he told reporters in Mumbai ahead of a glitzy official unveiling ceremony at 7:30 pm (1400 GMT).
Potential owners of the car -- which is just over three metres (10 feet) long and has a top speed of 105 kilometres (65 miles) per hour -- can apply between April 9 and 25, Tata managing director Ravi Kant said. ...