Friday, January 11, 2008


Posted by janshar n  |  at  6:28 PM No comments

The most awaited Rs. 1 Lakh car from Tata was unveiled at AutoExpo 2008 in New Delhi. Ever since Tata announced the launch of their Rs. 1 Lakh car (US $2500), everybody was eager to see how the car would look and what it would be like to drive that car. Well finally that curiousity is over. Tata's Rs. 1 Lakh Car is called Tata Nano. Now not only Tata but Bajaj also launched its small car (Bajaj Rs. 1 Lakh Car) Bajaj Lite.

Tata Nano Engine cost would be around Rs. 28,000 and would have around 30 to 35 hoursepower. Tata Nano will not have power steering, power windows, air-condititioning (most of the car owners go for aftermarket AC already). The instrument panel would have only speedometer, odometer and fuel gauge. No fancy trip counter or fancy temperature gauge or light indicators. The car is so small that it would have only one windshield wiper.
As the world awaits the formal rollout of Tata Nano from the Singur factory in West Bengal, car buying dynamics in India seem to be undergoing a subtle change.

Most believe Nano’s price is very attractive and affordable. People who own entry-level cars are now thinking of going in for either one Nano — in view of its fuel efficiency — or maybe two, which will cost the same as their existing car. So, there would be one car for the head of the family and another for the family.

Take the case of Sudarshana Sarkar. The school teacher has already enquired about Nano at a city-based Tata dealer. “I particularly liked the yellow Nano. It has a style of its own. It’s affordable and looks quite comfortable. It’s good for a small family. I am keen to know when bookings will kick off,” she said.

Tata dealers are flooded with queries from prospective buyers. “Nano will be a runaway hit. People, mainly the middle-class, are anxiously waiting for it. After it was unveiled on Thursday, we have started receiving thousands of calls from potential buyers,” said Binod Agarwal of Lexus Motors. Not surprising, considering the country’s middle-class numbers several million.

Small car owners are upbeat too. “It’s not a bad option to have a Nano for the family. After all, Ratan Tata did assert the car meets all safety standards. So my children can go to school and my wife for her shopping in Nano,” said small-time businessman Apurv Shah.

Prodyut Mitra, an employee with United Bank of India, seconded the emotion: “I commute by a motorcycle and am keen to buy a Nano. I hope banks will come up with soft financing options for the car.”

Sahana Ganguly, a home maker, is, however, more cautious. “It’s an affordable car, no doubt. But I would rather wait a year before buying it, just to see what the experience is like,” she said. It’s a different matter though that after a year, the car’s price may be revised, if the company wants to mark it to the market vis-a-vis raw material input prices.

The car’s nano space requirement for parking is believed to be yet another purchase point trigger. “Three Nanos can easily fit into the space occupied by two Ambassadors,” an auto analyst quipped.

“Two Nanos can be effortlessly parked in a typical Scorpio parking slot. So, in metros, where parking is a huge problem, Nano could be a hit,” he added.

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