Just a thought

TATA Nano (The People’s car)

Posted by stringofthoughts on April 5, 2009

tata_nano12Nano is launched in India on March 23 2009 🙂 . It’s a cute little vehicle. All the buzz about this vehicle is it’s price tag : Rs 1,15,000 (approx US $2300). Tata is aiming for $2000. That would be nice i mean look at the bike prices Rs 70,000 more or less. Put some extra money and bring a 4 wheeler home (sounds like an ad line 😛 ). I read in the newspaper that one family went to do shopping for clothes on weekend and ended up buying a car. Guess which car? Media is giving it so much hype I can’t believ  it.

Here is what i think. I am from a small town where every house has at least one  two-wheeler and it works just fine. There is no traffic in small town. So if everyone buys this small car there won’t be any problems like traffic jam , parking spaces etc. The chances of accidents are very small especially because there are no long roads so there is no speeding 😀 ( small towns are awesome). The towns like Raipur, Gwalior , Bilaspur, Raigarh etc where major population is usually middle class families. So for these towns this car is a very good gift.

Let’s change the scenario, come to Mumbai 🙂 . I’ve been living in Mumbai for past eight years and it feels this city has reached it’s limit. It’s got all sort of problems like dumping trash, water supply,  living space and  guess what’s the condition of traffic. Let me give you and example from Andheri(station) to Powai it takes hardly 30 mins to travel if traffic is normal but in the evening when people are returning home from office it sometimes takes up to 2 – 3 hours. That’s the condition of traffic infrastructure in Mumbai. Ah wait the parking space …ummm… forget about it you are not gonna find one 😦 .

So imagine now from a middle class family perspective they are now a proud owner of a new 4 wheeler. (I believe Tata must be planning to sell  in millions.) And from the city perspective there is no improvement in traffic infrastructure but  there are now thousands of new 4 wheeler on the road :). What’s the point on being in car if you are always stuck in traffic. People should use public transportation but anyone who has been to Mumbai or lived there knows how crowded it is. I don’t understand how this is helpful for a big city.

Important note about Nano’s crash testing :

A lot of people don’t know the whole thing about Nano’s crash testing :). Tata, which has the only crash-test facility in the country, said that the Nano “exceeds current regulatory requirements”. And while it is not a deathtrap – it has crumple zones, seat belts and strong seat anchors – it is worth bearing in mind that total vehicle crash testing (rather than just frontal impact), airbags and antilock braking systems are not mandatory.

Without these, the Nano would not even be considered for approval in Britain. Adding them would double its price in India, which is why they have been omitted. This is why Nano’s price in Britain is approx. US$ 6000 (INR 3,00,000).

It makes me sad how the safety is compromised to keep the price down in India. Passengers might survive the head on collision at moderate speed but side collision ( on square or on T section etc) could prove deadly. This is not being told to people. I hope people know this before buying this wonder car

I think Nano is wonderful for small towns it’s a gift but it’s a curse for metros.


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