Tata Nano: World’s Cheapest Car
Tata Nano, World’s cheapest car launched in India yesterday, 23 March 2009. Amidst all the reviews, Previews and News Stories following the Nano, I present a simplistic and a Lay man’s view of what Nano means to me. As seen from Television reports, Nano to me looked likes a regular 3 wheeler or a 4 wheeler Auto Rickshaw that goes around town, Popularly known as the ‘Share-Auto’ in Chennai. It didn’t look any different in size, the only difference – the shape.
The Tail light looks like a regular on the Tata Indica and the front end seems inspired from Estilo. A popular member of the low segment car, Nano is supposed to be better amongst the counter-parts, The Maruti 800 and The Alto. So much so, Nano is said to posses 21% more interior space than any other car in it’s segment. The Fiber Glass body makes it a light weight model allowing more fuel efficiency. Space constraint is never a problem in the car which seated 4 decent sized people in it. The Engine is rear driven with the engine placed at the rear end. The Engine is a Kinetic make , 2 cylinder petrol that promises a fuel efficiency of over 20kmpl. The car has a top speed of 105 kmph which is completely acceptable given it’s cost and the size.
The Car is available in many different colors depending on the type you select. The nano version which is the lowest version houses NO A/C what-so-ever and is the basic model available. The CX version is priced a little higher than the basic version housing an A/C and some neat interiors. The LX version which is the highest has A/c, power windows, and comfortable cushion seats will be available for less than Rs.1.75 lakhs which is very less in comparison to any of it’s class. There are no fancy accessories that are the part of the car, Even the Audio system has been left out. These accessories will be available at the dealer level at an additional cost reported Tata.
Tata has tied up with many central banks to provide loans to people who wished to own a Nano. SBI bank is offering the car at an EMI od just about Rs.2700 a month for 5 years. Registrations have now flung open at Tata Showrooms across India, SBI Banks and many other dealer locations. For the First time in India, A consumer will need to pay Rs.300 for obtaining an Application form. The Application amount and the booking amount which is an upfront payment of Rs.75-80 k will be returned to the customer with interest if the car has not been allotted to them, A one of a kind initiative from Tata to raise the money.
All said and done, lets look at the drawbacks. Even though it looks like a car with a decent speed and fuel efficiency, It looks like a modified Share-Auto to me. On inquiry i found that the 4 wheel Auto would cost just about Rs.2.5 lakhs which could ‘comfortably’ seat about 7 people including the driver. A safe bet? given the lx version with A/c costs Rs.1.75 lakhs? I have never trusted Tata with any of it’s products and my hatred to it is quite evident after the experience with it’s DTH Service TataSky. Everything seems peaceful and happy at the beginning but once it starts giving a problem, It’s a monopolistic market out there. There are no Spare parts available anywhere else other than Tata. Every single service would set you back some amount that you wished you could have spent happily after some other car. And when you complain, Tata greets you with it’s policies which only piss you off and make you want to sell to another ‘bakra'(Scape goat) for half the price.
Mind it, This experience is courtesy TataSky and nothing to do with Nano or it’s services. It’s just out in the market and the first Nano has not yet been alloted. It’s a personal opinion adding to a million other opinions out there on the internet and television news channels. Be wise and choose well. All accolades however to Mr. Ratan Tata for thinking of a low segment car that would help people of the middle class and lower middle class to own a Car. Hopefully all my experience would be proved otherwise.