Millions of Indians now will realize their owning a car. The car that costs 1 lakh Rupees about $2500 may dash the hopes of top Automakers hoping to capitalize the Indian Small car market but will definitely create chaos on the already crowded Indian City roads. The key point is Tata has delivered what Ratan Tata promised.
Of course there has been a lot of commentary on this:
In the Outlook section of today's Washington Post Mira Kamdar writes that " the car doesn't meet U.S. safety standards " so sorry folks you can't buy it.
"If millions of Indians and Chinese get to have their own cars, the planet is doomed. Suddenly, the cute little Nano starts to look a lot less winning."
"Even at $2,500, the people's car costs 10 times more than the annual income of most Indians. At this point, there is only one car for approximately every 1,000 Indians. In the United States, the ratio is three cars for every four people."
She also quotes a college student in India" "Just when we can finally start to enjoy the things you people have had for decades -- cars, air conditioners -- you tell us, 'Sorry, too late, you can't now.' I mean, you created this mess. You won't reduce your consumption, but you tell us we can't increase ours."
Mira Kamdar is a Bernard Schwartz Fellow at the Asia Society and the author of "Planet India: The Turbulent Rise of the Largest Democracy and the Future of Our World."
Even before this outlook piece I saw this article In the Washington Post - GAVIN RABINOWITZ of AP.
"Tata Nano will lead to possibly millions more cars hitting already clogged Indian roads, adding to mounting air and noise pollution problems. Others have said Tata will have to sacrifice quality and safety standards to meet the target price.
Company Chairman Ratan Tata has said the car will be the least polluting car in India and meet necessary safety standards.
Chief U.N. climate scientist Rajendra Pachauri, who shared last year's Nobel Peace Prize, said last month that "I am having nightmares" about the prospect of the low-cost car. "
Introducing the car at an auto show in New Delhi, Tata said the Nano had passed domestic and European emission standards and would average about 50 miles per gallon.
"Dr. Pachauri need not have nightmares," said Tata, the chairman.
If its any consolation Tata is the company that is buying the Jaguar and Land Rover brands from Ford writes Tom Krisher in the Washington Post . Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. and U.S. private equity firm One Equity Partners LLC, still were in the running.
So an Indian Company will possibly own the cheapest car and a top premium car brand.
The car is pretty cool. I can't comment on the traffic conditions in India (I've heard its bad), and I know that we've got a global energy crisis in our future, but it seems pretty awful to suggest that societies in the West get to have their cars but everyone else should forgo them because of oil or pollution.
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