Thursday, January 17, 2008

Nano Aaya Re !!!!

So the people's car has finally arrived !!!! Unveiled last week by Ratan Tata last week at the Delhi Auto Expo (with a cleverly used dash of sentiment : "a promise is a promise"), the Tata Nano seems to have got everyone talking and admiring. And by all accounts (since I am no auto expert), Tata Motors seem to have got a winner on its hands. It sure does look good. It initially reminded me of the Daweoo Matiz (one of my earlier favourites). Compactly built, but it still supposedly has about 20% more inner space than the Maruti 800. And the mileage of 20kmpl sure is a cracker, since this will mean that it will not be too much of a burden on its owner even with petrol. What is still open to debate though, is the safety aspect. With such a compact body and no front bumper, the occupants have to be extra cautious. And what might also go against it is the perception that it is suitable only for short intra-city distances. But all said it done, one can already see the queue forming. And the people lining up might not be your usual suspects. The day after the launch, a friend told me about his conversation with a auto rickshaw driver, in which the latter cursed the high maintainence cost of his Bajaj Auto model and was fascinated by the Nano (mostly by its price tag, I imagine). And yesterday, there was an article stating the Taximen Association in Mumbai is actually going to hold talks with the Tatas with a view to modifiying the Nano to be a taxi (CNG version etc). Maybe the Tata's have stumbled on a different kind of market, and couple of years down the line, we might see black-and-yellow Nano's all over Mumbai's streets. And oh, not to forget the thousands of college kids, not-so-affluent bread-winners who might take to the Nano just because of the sheer satisfaction of owning a car (note I am not talking status symbols since I dont think the Nano can be the benchmark for one).

Amidst all this, does anyone spare a thought for the roads and infrastructure still, as I had done a few months back ?? Only time will tell.

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