The car has been beautifully designed and very pleasant on the eyes. It closely resembles the new version of Zen Estilo but the comparison stops there. There have been radical changes to the way a car has been designed. The engine is on the rear side and the boot space is at the front. For your information, Tata Nano has a boot space to accomodate only one suitcase!! All possible measures have been adapted to cut the cost to the minimum. The car is 8% smaller than Maruti 800 but Tata claims it has 21% more space compared to M 800. I am not able to understand how it could have 21% more space. I leave it to the mathematical wizards and the engineering brains. Tata Nano is set to change the landscape of Indian Automobile industry in a big way as well it would change the Indian roads. Tata claims that the car would give you a mileage of 20 kms per litre of petrol. The car would be priced at Rs1.40 lakhs (on road) and would definitely be very attractive to the burgeoning Indian Middle-class to satisfy their dreams of having a car.
Okay, after all the good things about Nano lets look at the controversies surrounding it as well. Mamta Banerjee has made a political statement saying that Tatas should give 10 lakh Nano cars free because of the freebies they have got for the Singur plant. She claims that Tata's have been given land worth 1000 crores free of cost and as well as innumerable tax concessions from the Government. Turning little serious, lets look at the important questions:
- Do we require a car like Nano considering the environmental impact?
- Does our cities have the infrastructure to support these kind of smaller and cheaper cars?
- How popular this car would be? Who are possible owners of this car?
Though the car is highly efficient in terms of mileage, but just compare it to the motorcycles. An average motorcycle gives you a mileage of 45 kms per litre of petrol whereas Nano offers 20 kms under standard testing conditions. Tata is expecting the motorcycle wallahs to upgrade to Nano. They definitely need to spend a lot more on fuel. Rajiv Bajaj of Bajaj Auto, who incidentally showcased his compact car in the Auto expo, believes that the running costs plays a very crucial role in the purchase decisions of a car. Will the motorcycle wallahs be ready to spend that extra amount of money. I doubt it!
One way of answering all the questions related to pollution, environmental impact, traffic congestion is to market the cars exclusively in the rural, non-urban centres and export it to countries where there is a need for fuel efficient cars. It will be definitely be a popular choice in rural areas and also help to provide our rural population the advantages of urban India. It would also be a huge hit with the western countries where there is a demand for cars with high fuel efficiency.
Do you agree with my suggestion? Please post your comments on my novel idea.