In the past few weeks, we have experienced a considerable hype generated about Tata’s dream car – Tata Nano. Why a dream car? Well the reasons are obvious. Being the cheapest car ever to be produced, Tata Motors has raised the hopes of all those who so far had only dreamt of owning a car but could never afford one. When Tata Motors had first presented the concept of a Rs 1 Lakh car, many scoffed that it was unachievable. Yet it has been done. The dream car will be finally unleashed to roam free in the third quarter of 2008.
Well, it is probably easy to get carried away with the euphoria. And so lakhs of people landed up at the Auto Expo 2008, in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi to see the car they will own in the future. The Nano stall itself attracted a footfall of close to 3 lakhs over the weekend. TV interviews quoted people saying – “1 lakh ki gaadi hai. Hum to zaroor khareedenge!” (The car costs just 1 lakh rupees. We will definitely buy it!). Makes me stop and wonder though. Isn’t it true that since the car is so cheap, every individual who used to afford a Motor bike for commuting in the past will now instead opt for the Nano? Is Nano going to replace all the motorcycles, auto-rickshaws and 2-wheeler scooters in India? Can we then imagine the state of the already over-flowing traffic conditions in the country? Is the already choc-a-block traffic condition going to get worse? And are we not talking about higher pollution levels? Where on the one hand, the Delhi government is spending crores of rupees in improving the public transportation system, and seriously thinking about the pollution dilemma caused by the increasing numbers of diesel vehicle in the capital, what role will the Nano play in the situation?
I heard in a news channel that Mr. Ratan Tata plans to launch only 2.5 lakh Nanos in a year. Where that could help to curb the incessant demand for the dream car, I still wonder whether the dream car is actually going to turn out to be a nightmare?
Other post on Tata Nano – Nita’s Blog