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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tata Nano: World’s Cheapest Car from Tata Motors

World’s cheapest car, Tata Nano has been unveiled in the 9th annual New Delhi Auto Expo today. With lots of hypes and expectations, this four-door car was made public in a festive mode. Lots of public interests created for this much-awaited Rs one lakh car, which many think, to be instrumental in people’s dream to shift from a two wheeler to a four wheeler. Tata Motors has dubbed it as ‘People’s Car’, indicating its involvement to the people of root level.

Nano is a supermini car which has some advantages over its competitor Maruti 800, which brought out a revolution in the Indian car industry about two decades ago. Nano has 21% more interior space with 8 % less in its exterior from Maruti 800. Moreover, the price is deemed to give the biggest market advantage to Nano compared to other automakers in India’s price sensitive market. Tata Motors has already selected a place for the manufacturing plant of Nano in Singur, a backward area of Hoogly district in West Bengal.

Actually, Tata Nano is going to create new market segment in Indian market. It is expected to lessen the difference in price level between two wheelers and four wheelers. So, industry analysts are thinking that the market of two wheelers will be affected with the advent of Nano. Industry analyst Deepak Jain has said in an interview that about 10% of two-wheeler market will be taken away by Nano.

Money Control reported:

Q: Do you think there would be a very conscious shift with the launch of this product from the two-wheelers space to an upgraded product choice by the consumers?

A: If we look at, who can buy this product? With a Rs 30,000 down payment, you can take a loan of around Rs 1 lakh and EMI works out to be around Rs 3,716 per month. With just Rs 3,700 per month on an EMI, I believe anybody can afford this product. As far as the shift is concerned, initial estimates is around 10% of the two-wheeler market can actually shift towards the small car.

There are many others who think Nano will bring out a big change in the auto industry of Indian. Some even see it as a revolutionary car to hit the costs of car in India. However, there are many who are not satisfied with Nano in relation to safety and environmental concerns. They fear that the car will increase the number of cars in Indian roads significantly and thus the amount of emission will be increased as well- accelerating the global warming. Tata’s competitors are not that much satisfied with the launch of their new product indicating its safety concern.

However, Tata’s Chief patron Ratan Tata has denied all those speculations. Terming Nano ‘People’s Car’, the 70-year-old business tycoon has expressed that the car meets all the safety standards and Nano will have lower pollution level.

AFP reported:

Tata, likened by India's media to US automobile pioneer Henry Ford, also dismissed fears the Nano -- so-called to appear both high-tech and small -- would herald more congestion and pollution.

He said he wanted to make "a safe, affordable and all-weather transport -- a people's car, designed to meet all safety standards and emissions laws and accessible to all."

"Let me assure you and also assure our critics the car we have designed will meet all the current safety requirements ... and will have a lower pollution level than even a two-wheeler being manufactured in India today," Tata said.

Established in 1945, Tata Motors is now one of the leading automakers in India. From 2001- 2006, Tata Motors flourished more and was listed in the list of top ten wealth creators in India. About five years ago, Ratan Tata first declared to introduce a car with a price level of Rs. 100,000. From then on, the one lakh car was one of the most talking points in India’s auto market.

The car includes some alluring features despite its cheap price. With 623 cc engine, the car has a mileage of 22 kmpl in the city roads and 26 kmpl in highways. So, it is obviously something special for the Indian people. The car will be available in different variants in which one will be standard and two other deluxe variants with air conditioning.

Reuters reported:

* Engine: Rear-wheel drive, 2-cylinder, 623 cc, multi-point fuel-injection petrol engine. Engine is rear mounted. Tata said it was the first time a 2-cylinder gasoline engine was being used in a car with single balancer shaft.

* Safety: Tata said the Nano has an all sheet-metal body, with safety features such as crumple zones, intrusion-resistant doors, seat-belts, strong seats and anchorages, and the rear tailgate glass bonded to the body. Tyres are tubeless.

* Environment: Tata said tailpipe emission performance exceeded current regulatory requirements, and the Nano had a lower overall pollution level than two-wheelers made in India. It said high fuel efficiency (20 km/litre) ensured low carbon dioxide emissions.

Tata Nano was the center of all attention today in the Delhi Auto Expo. There were some other cars from other companies. However, Nano took away all the media and public attention. Nano had lots of admirers today following its launch. Commerce Minister Kamal Nath has dubbed the launching of Nano as a proud moment for India. According to Mr. Nath, Nano will fulfill the common man’s dream.

Economic Times reported:

"It is a proud moment for India. It demonstrates India's technological and entrepreneurial ability. The car will help people move from two-wheeler to four-wheeler and it will leap-frog the two-wheeler," he said at the Auto Expo today.
"It fulfills the need of the common Indian who aspires to move from a two-wheeler to a four-wheeler," he added.

So, it seems that Tata Nano is going to rock the Indian roads in the days to come. If the car maintains its promised services, then Nano will definitely surge the streets of India with lots of people’s dream come true. Well, it will be interesting to see how other Indian auto makers respond to the launch of Nano. As it is expected that two-wheeler market is going to be affected most by the car creating a new market segment, it is high time other car makers should come up with their innovative products to grab the share of new segment. However, till then, it is Nano to be dominating the local car market.

Related articles:

Hindustan Times

DNA India

Newsfromrussia

AFP

Money Control

Wikipedia

Economictimes

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