Withstanding intent media speculation, Tata Motors released its biggest gamble ever. Tata Nano’s release today, taking the veil off, finally satiating the eager anticipation that existed ever since Mr. Ratan Tata announced the launch of a “Rs 1 lac car” in 2005. A revolutionary step in automobiles, the people’s car, as its known, was unveiled under serious media glare at the 9th Auto Expo at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.
Sleek and slender, in 3 vibrant colors, Tata Nano was the center of attraction at the Expo leaving behind tough competitors such as Hyundai, Honda and Skoda.
Within a short span of time, the car has received an extremely encouraging response from those who have had the privilege to view it. Not just the exteriors, the interiors too are plush, comfortable and spacious. A four seater, with a length of 3.1 meter, a width of 1.5 meter and a height of 1.6 meter, the car goes with adequate ground clearance and effortless maneuverability. It has a rear wheel drive, all – aluminum, 2 – cylinder, 623 cc, 33 PS and a multipoint fuel injection petrol engine. This is the first for a two cylinder gasoline engine to be used in a car with single balancer shaft. It sees within itself a unique specifically designed electronic engine management system.
Ever system Mr. Tata’s declaration of bringing out the Rs. 1 lac car ($2500), the concept has been met with a lot of criticism as well a lot of cynicism. Opposing companies have laughed it off, critics have torn it apart and cynics have dismissed it as a big joke and an impossibility in today’s world. However, confronting all that the world has to offer, Tata Motors surged ahead with the invention, delivering as promise the final product in the beginning of 2008.
Even while in construction, it was believed that the Rs. 1 lac car would not meet all the safety requirements and would result in greater environmental pollution. Yet at today’s expo, Tata Nano took away the breath of the spectators and left them gasping at the spectacular design and wholesome feel that the car conveyed.
Yet questions still remain unanswered. The world will see a new dimension to acceptability of cars to the average citizen. However would that ensure safe driving? Commenting on the question, Mr. Tata said that Tata Motors plan to invest in driving schools in order to ensure safe driving. The statement was diluted when he went on to say that the organization philosophy was about better manufacturing and not on enhancement of safer and better driving. Another question that is intrinsic to this benchmark release was that would the price of the car increase with simultaneous increase in popularity of Tata Nano? “We never said that the price will not rise”, said Mr. Ratan Tata. In the face of heated criticism and ungenerous media, Tata Motors has achieved a phenomenal feet in having developed to perfection the Tata Nano. Yet it remains to be seen whether the visual attraction would coincide with reality of life on roads and similarly deliver perfection in smooth driving and effortless maintenance. The real test is yet to begin. Would the Tata Nano survive on the roads of India? Mr Tata seems quite optimistic and confident in his statement, “A challenge has begun…we have disclosed whatever we have achieved…but we still have a long way to go”.
Shravya Jain & Shayoni Sarkar