JANUARY 9 2008 - Another incredible day in the Indian Business world when TATA GROUP unveiled its "People's Car" - TATA NANO on the Auto Expo held here at country capital Delhi. Not only to the surprise of other Indian Industry vetrans, but even the World's big Car Manufacturers' taken aback by the success and determination of TATA. No doubt that Nano has sidelined all the doubts raised by the industry expert on Pollution, Cost and comfort.
What made Ratan Tata to make this "People's Car"?
Basically, just as an Indian, you know, I would be as concerned of my-self as one of the rickshaw pullers in Calcutta running with a rickshaw behind with two people sitting back. It bothered me. My mind will start thinking: Can we put a bicycle there? The same thing bothers me when I visit a plant also. The workers are bending over when the work piece should be raised or maybe they should sit in a pit or what-ever. Because I think human fatigue is something that affects safety.
So in this particular case, you could not help but notice that there were three or four family members on a scooter, the kid standing in the front, the guy driving the scooter and the wife sitting side saddle holding a little kid. And when you're driving a car, you certainly say, Oh my god, be careful, they may slip. Add to that slippery roads and night time too. Any of these reasons can be dangerous for transport. That does not mean that the scooter should not exist because scooters are an evolution of bicycles and it is all the path of prosperity. - ET.
So essentially Tata is projecting this car for a family of four and still commuting in Bike or Scooter. Keeping this mind they had built the car for 632 CC Engine which is efficient enough to drive four adults. As they have not compromised with height, they had still reduced the length of the car to park it easily and again to mention the width has been increased by 6 cm. So no compromise in the comfort.This car is not for long journey, because it was not made with that objective, though Tata Motors claims so.
Nano has many best feature. But on my view, I would not claim it as People's Car. Reasons???
- Though it says it comes for 1 Lakh, that is just the capital cost for the middle class. What about the recurring, variable cost like maintanence and petrol bills? Earlier the 2 Wheelers have to shell petrol bills monthly twice, with Nano they have to do that four times in a month. My average 2W gives 45 kmpl, while Nano can give only 15 kmpl. My variables are more than what I'm paying now. Do you think with growing fuel price, will the middle class able to sustain a car? I don’t think so.
- Lookwise Nano is like "Soorpanagai" without nose. It doesn't give a damn to look & design of the car. Cars traditionally seen as Luxury item and a social status.
- We have seen several business which projects as low price, low cost product manufacturer, but later some point of time, they also join the high price band soon. Air Deccan, Reliance India Mobile etc., It is just like Reliance ka Mobile released for 501 bucks and finally joined the rest of the Telecom band with regular price. Nano will also join 1.5 L or 2L before 2010 due to the impossibility of capping cost structure to 1L.
- Though they had taken lot of pain to built the car small, still I couldn't easily find right infrastructure in the city to park it. Take chennai into consideration, where we have space to park. If I want to use this car in bangalore, I should take it out before 6 am and come back home after 11 pm. The city traffic is not mature enough to hold this kind of car. So to where does this car fit. - Rural India. they don't use car often and they make better sense in using it. It means ultimately its not going to be used by people whom it has been intimated.
Ratanji, we appreciate your product, but unless you are clear about what it has to do and to whom this is not going to help out. But my heartfelt congragulations to Ratan & his team for once again proving our capability to the World.