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“No No” to the Nano

The Tata Nano was finally commercially launched on 23rd March 2009, much to the joy of many Indians. I appreciate Ratan Tata’s aspirations to improve the standard of living of the average middle-class Indian family, but to me, his launch of the Tata Nano will benefit his business and actually cause a lot of heartache for Indians. Here’s why:

The number of road accidents, people killed in road accidents and people injured in road accidents in India has been steadily increasing over the past decade, due to the prevalence of the following:

(1) Corruption in Road Transport Offices (RTOs) with respect to the the issue of driving licenses, thereby allowing people who do not possess the required skills and road safety awareness, to drive recklessly on Indian roads.
(2) Bad Infrastructure. i.e. narrow roads, poor or no traffic engineering, poorly maintained roads with potholes, unmarked and uncovered pits left behind after roadside work, lack of proper road signs, etc.
(3) Lack of traffic discipline among Indian motorists, the majority of whom think that traffic lights are just festive lights intended to decorate the roads.

The low cost of the Nano would make most two-wheeler owners switch to the four wheels of the Nano and when this happens, given the facts mentioned above, all hell will break loose on Indian roads and probably the average life expectancy at birth, of Indians will dip. How can Ratan Tata not see this coming? Doesn’t he travel on Indian roads? Perhaps, he’s chauffeured around in a tinted glass limousine and too busy to notice.

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4 Comments

  1. Biju

    NANO or NO NANO, the traffic in India is not going get any better. The traffic discipline should begin right from the administration to the common man which has a lot of loop holes.

    Ratan Tata is seeing it but he cannot risk his business. He alone cannot change the system.

  2. mrkips

    Biju, I agree that one man cannot change the system and Ratan Tata’s business success will be his top priority. Well, Mr. Tata made a helluva hype before launching this car, about his promise on delivering a car costing Rs. 1 lakh to make “comfortable travel” more affordable for the average middle-class Indian – that’s more of marketing bullcrap (I don’t believe there’ll be many sales for the model costing around 1 lakh as most of the bells and whistles are in the slightly more expenisve models) than a genuine desire to make travel more comfortable as the Nano will probably clog the already congested roads even more, should a large proportion of two-wheeler drivers switch to the Nano. Yes, I do believe that less two-wheelers and more four-wheelers on roads are desirable for safety, but India’s roads and its citizens’ poor traffic discipline simply cannot cater to a significant increase in the number of four-wheelers.

  3. Pragya

    Nano would not even pass the most lenient of the emission standards in europe and North America. Given the recession , You think all the German/Swedish/etc automakers wouldnt lobby against the Nano? There already exist Smart Car which is like 1000000 times better than Nano in terms of crash testing, emissions, safety, comfortness,etc

    It is better of chugging along with 10 ppl onboard,polluting like an kerosene burnt auto.:P

  4. mrkips

    Pragya, I’m surprised Mr.Tata didn’t bother about emission standards. Well, I think electric cars will do wonders for India. Imagine if all future cars in India go electric – noise pollution and air pollution will dramatically decrease….but people will have to get used to cleaner air and quieter roads! 😉 .I guess drastic measures are required to reduce India’s huge contribution to global warming.

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