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.