Tata People's Car - Tata Nano


Tata launched their 1 lakh car yesterday. Called People’s car, its 623 cc, can seat 4 people, has more interior space than a Maruti 800 cc, meets emission norms, has been through the safety tests and above all is affordable to a common man.

Personally I think it’s a wow concept, car looks good, promised mileage is far better than any other car in any segment and cost of ownership is low and would go far in fulfilling dreams of millions of Indians.

The car would be available for purchase near Diwali (which traditionally is a period when people buy new houses, cars, electronics and jewelery in India). Tata's hope to sell around 500,000 of these during the first year. The dealer price is 100,000 and a customer would have to shell out about 1,24,000 including taxes and delivery costs.

Thinking again about Nano, there are quite a few positives and some negatives too.

Talking about negatives first, people say that it’s very cramped and it is like traveling in an auto-rickshaw with one more tyre and one more seat. My answer to these people is that the car has more inside space than Maruti 800. On comparison to auto-rickshaw, people hire the auto-rickshaw and people would own the car. They are ignoring the pride attached to owning a car.

Then there are people who say what if India added 500,000 cars on roads every year? What would happen to already bad traffic situation? I agree I don’t really have a convincing argument against it. In my opinions bulk of orders would come from small towns like Raipur, Patiala etc rather than Delhi and Mumbai. And these towns don’t really have road crunch. And then there is another argument that people would not buy Santros and Altos of the world and would buy Nano instead.

More negatives are attached with Singur and farmers that have been displaced. I don’t really have an opinion on the same. Can someone add perspectives?

Coming to positives, the very obvious is family transport solution for a common man. He says
[QUOTE] ... as urbanisation gathers pace, personal transport has become a big issue, especially since mass transport is often not available or is of poor quality. Two-wheelers - with the father driving, the elder child standing in front and the wife behind holding a baby - is very much the norm in this country. In that form two-wheelers are a relatively unsafe mode of transporting a family. The two-wheeler image is what got me thinking that we needed to create a safer form of transport. My first doodle was to rebuild cars around the scooter, so that those using them could be safer if it fell. Could there be a four-wheel vehicle made of scooter parts? ... [UNQUOTE]

Next there are more people who would take example from Mr. Tata and set about doing a task and achieving it.

Obviously there are talks about employment it generates, companies that are built around it, earning foreign exchange from exports, technological advancements (they have filed 34 patents) and many more.

Advertising is being handled by Rediffusion DY&R and agencyFAQs reports that Tatas plan to spend close to 30 crores in advertising the car when it is finally launched.

What remains to be seen is if the project is actually financially viable and if Tata can break even with the project.

Obviously Tatas has created an entire new market. Bajaj and Mahindra have already made public their plans of getting into the small car business. Things would only get interesting as we near the actual launch of the car.

Read more here, here and here. Please be advised that this is personal opinion and would be in probability coloured.

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