Random Thoughts - Tata Nano

15/02/2010 - 13:47 | ,  ,   | Anish

Tata Nano could teach school students driving manners and safety as it is easily accessible

True, the dream has become a reality. Kudos, to Mr. Ratan Tata and team, it is a great achievement to see the Nano. Honestly, before I saw the car, I was one of those people who was against the idea of seeing it on the roads. I was completely selfish in thinking - what a Rs. 1 lakh car? that's more traffic on the roads.

I even agreed with the idea that this car would add to air pollution and other environmental problems (as its target customers are at the bottom of the pyramid - the masses). I do not turn my engine off at the signals, my aircon is constantly on and I have two cars. How can I agree to the idea that the Nano adds to the pollution? And what can I do about the traffic?, It is for the government to manage. I can only contribute by staying off the roads or using public transport.

After seeing the Nano, I felt like a complete idiot. First, how did Tata pull it off? The Nano appealed to me as one of the best designed and engineered cars from the Tata stables. Then the question? Why should I buy this car? for that matter why should any one buy this car?

*Let us stick to basics. I would not like to get in to the specifics of the Nano, there is much info available on that.

I would simply buy this car as it is a true product of Indian engineering. Yes, there are a few contenders like the good old Ambassador, Premier padmini or the Maruti 800. However, one can trace the origins of these contenders abroad prior to their introduction/manufacture in India. The Nano is truly an Indian car.

Nano is a no-nonsense car. Practicality in the smallest and cheapest possible package. The primary expectation of an average buyer would be the need to get from point A to B in the cheapest, quickest and easiest manner. Nano offers just that. Its small, quick, zippy and fuel efficient. How many petrol cars on Indian roads can boast of a mileage above 20 kmpl?.

The top end satisfies the need for an aircon, power windows and central locking. Remember, the average Indian buyer is still conservative. If you require a car that has ABS, airbags and other technologies packed in, then Nano is not the car for you. Rather, you are not a Nano customer. At times, when hi-end cars like the Honda City / Jazz and Toyota Prius / Camry are facing recalls due to faults in their technology systems, the Nano is a safe bet.

I was thinking of an opportunity that has not been explored. Why can't schools in India impart road manners and driving lessons? Get a Nano and teach students about the basics of cars. Impart them road manners and we will have the generation that is ready and willing to follow road rules. Would that not solve much of our road problems (atleast it would reduce the incidence of high blood pressure among urban Indians).

The Nano would come across as the best vehicle for teens to transition in to the next car segment.

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