Monday, January 14, 2008

So, what about the Nano?

So, as the curtains unveil the smallest car in India, and the most economical car in the world, everyone wants to have one. This is the first time this has happened in the car industry - where a large set of Indians can actually think of owning it. The obvious and the most interesting reason - the price tag. Where in the world will you find a car priced at $2500 ?

Beyond all the apprehensions of the "People's car" being unable to run, being unreliable, being made of plastic, ..., there was an unswerving faith that resided in the heart of each and every Indian - the faith in one man - one shy man who has proven himself time and again and won accolades for his ideas and his execution of strategies. When Ratan Tata came up with Tata Indica, it was his sole belief and dream of having a car which is 100% Made in India. While all his board of directors were doubtful, he did it, and today Indica has carved out a niche for itself with a decent market share.

And before anyone could imagine - here he is - with his latest - the Rs. 1 Lakh car ! Although he had declared his plan more than four years back, it was seen with as many doubtful eyes as one can imagine. Personally, I was hopeful, but I never expected it to arrive this soon!

All this hullabaloo about it notwithstanding, I am not going to buy this car, neither for myself nor for any family member of mine. The looks are decent, but I have serious doubts about comfort. Remember Tata's words - the motivation behind the car was providing "safe" transport to a 4-member family. From that perspective, and looking at the nominal price, anything with a decent seating and back support is high on comfort.

My parents already possess a M800, which I am sure is much more comfortable than the Nano which does not even have reclining seats. So they obviously deserve much better. And for me, exterior looks are okay, but I am not impressed with the interiors - it is essentially basic minimum, sans any funky stuff (Anyways, that would be asking too much for Rs. 1 Lakh!). So here's wishing Mr. Tata all the best for his latest endeavor. Hope it becomes the "People's car".

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