The unveiling of TATA’s Rs. 1,00,000 car at the auto expo in New Delhi has made many raise their eyebrows, and also an equal number to frown. There has been a lot of debate on this world’s cheapest car from three sections of the society, viz., the lower-middle class, the environmentalists and the car’s competitors (majority are bike manufacturers in India). At this point, I had a very interesting discussion with my colleagues who are a mix of middle class and lower-middle class heavily taxed citizens of our country.
Following are the observations:
- Two wheeler prices are already soaring, hence majority of them would prefer TATA Nano over 150cc motorbikes
- Though the petrol version of the car claims 20 kmpl, most would prefer spending another Rs.10,000 to enable a gas version of the car – cheaper and less polluting!
- Any day, the car would be 60% safer than a bike on our city roads where the general rule of the thumb is to defy road rules
- Ah well, better isolation from dust (debatable!), and protection from rain…most importantly preventing you and your clothes getting soiled by the nearby automobiles splashing slush all over you!
- BLISS to rural India (it’s insane to leave them unpolluted and clean!)
- The cities suffer from increasing vehicles and shrinking roads, and TATA Nano would be a MEGA problem in worsening the situation further (unless otherwise the government does something to widen the roads, which is again a remote possibility!)
- Dreadful – imagine all the auto-rickshaw guys switching to Nanos 🙁 More charge per car, and more trouble for the road users as the auto guys are known for their stunts – the car being auto-like!
- The Nano will be a goods carrier, water carrier, FOR HIRE – a car with multiple personalities 🙁
- Pollution, congestion, and more pollution – a fact that cannot be denied!!!
- The pollution and congestion will not only be because of more nanos, but:
- Second hand car values drop and many could afford them
- Drop in bike sales and the resulting switch to cheap cars
When most developed nations (at least European nations) are stressing more on public transportation, we as a (ever-)developing nation have got immense responsibilities on our shoulders in making our environment livable for our future generations. I would have been happier if TATA took a giant step in bringing in small cars powered by alternative fuel – just like air-powered car, or hydrogen and electric powered cars; really wouldn’t mind paying another lakh to keep my environment clean and green!
Now, who said owning a car gives you a status?