This post has been referred to in an article by Tim Blair of The Daily Telegraph. Click here to view it.
The unveiling of the Tata Nano at the Delhi Auto Expo last year was a real coup by Tata Motors! This car is clearly the first in its class, and creates a whole new segment (A-, perhaps ?). It is unprecedented not only in its pricing but also in its concept, design and many other ways. Not to mention that it underscores the excellence of Indian engineering.
Let me list some reasons why I think the Tata Nano will benefit not just those who buy it, but also the entire car industry in general. In short, I think it’s good for everyone, except the traffic, environment and environmentalists (RK Pachauri, Sunita Narain, etc.).
To all those who are critical of the Nano for whatever reason (looks, fragile body, comfort, etc.), don’t forget that the Nano delivers whatever it does at a never-before price point. Also, this car will benefit not just those who buy it, but also those who don’t. Read on to know why:
– Many people will buy the Nano instead of bikes (either because it makes more sense to spend a bit more and go for a car than a bike, or because till now no other car was affordable).
– Some will buy it because it’s a great price to pay for a car (they have the money but didn’t want to buy a car spending lakhs of rupees. But one lakh rupees for a Nano isn’t a huge investment for the comfort of a car, so why not?).
– Some will take it in addition to an existing bigger car (for their wife or kids, or for cheaper running costs, etc).
– Make no mistake, the Nano is nothing short of an icon now! And many people, specially in the initial days, will queue up to buy a Nano just to be a part of this iconic journey.
– Fearing this potentially huge loss of business, other companies will either reduce their car prices, offer more features on existing models, or come up with better models. Even two-wheeler manufacturers may now foray into the low-cost car business (Bajaj Auto has already announced similar plans). Either way, this will benefit everyone.
– The Nano will reinforce India’s engineering potential across the world. It already has, to some extent. When the Nano Europa ships abroad, it will cause a flutter!
– Exports of this vehicle will bring in valuable foreign exchange, and its manufacturing will create numerous jobs.
– It will reduce fatalities in road accidents (because it’s surely safer than a two-wheeler).
– It would make a perfect replacement for autorickshaws! I can imagine people yelling “Nano” in future, just like they yell “auto” today to call a rickshaw! This will greatly reduce noise and air pollution, as we all know how “quiet” and “non-polluting” our autorickshaws are!
– It will galvanise the auto industry in India and make it a hub of auto manufacturing. The message for the world auto companies will be: if you’re not manufacturing in India, you’re dead!
– And many more benefits…
Besides, if anyone thinks the Nano is bad, just check out the new PUMA electrical concept vehicle from General Motors, launched today. It’s like a wheelchair for two people with a roof!
P.S. Read this Tata Nano road test review from CarWale.