A Hindu Nationalist Perspective
Looks like the Indian manufacturing is showing its colours...I saw the news in reuters, where the Limey could not digest this and was constantly refered to the Nano as 'Cheapest car', 'Cheap car' etc.Well, the name suits it, as it shows that it is not just small, but also modern and compact.It might add to the congestion and pollution, but as somebody in this blog pointed out, maybe this could make the government to make better roads.
In 2005, Indian vehicles released 219 million tons of carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas blamed for global warming.By 2035, that number is projected to increase to 1,467 million tons, due largely to the expanding middle-class and the expected rise of low-cost cars, according to the Asian Development Bank.http://money.cnn.com/2008/01/10/news/international/india_cheapcar.ap/index.htm?postversion=2008011006
Its interesting how the "white man" has been reacting to this car.Bloomberg and co are doing the usual stunts showing how this will increase india's pollution footprint etc.The mandatory jholawallas are out even now -- to say how this is bad news if everyone has a car etc. etc.The truth is these guys are scared witless -- Tata has made a car for less than the price of a DVD player on crappy american cars.So, what better way to feel good is to pass snide remarks.Incidentally, the indian government should also be summarily slammed -- it is the abject failure of the government in addressing mass transport needs that has led to these evolutions.Had they bothered to make comfortable, sensibly scaled buses and trains, there would have been no need for such cars. If Mumbai had something like the tokyo subway, i'd dump my car any day.
there is a new trend: 'lean engineering' from india, comparable to 'lean manufacturing' from japan, which will revolutionize product design. this also has elements of 'bottom of the pyramid', as the target audience is the vast (and high purchasing power in aggregate) indian middle class. but it is also a very discerning, price-conscious, and value-conscious group that is not bothered about brands. thus, to reach them and keep them, you have to completely rethink your products, and in fact engineer them in india. carlos ghosn of renault was saying this a few months ago, among others. another example is that fact that we now have low-end cellphones for rs. 750, an astonishing price, as well as phone calls for re. 1 a minute, another astonishing price. this is all made possible by 'lean engineering'. this phrase 'lean engineering' is copyrighted and trademarked by me :-) i just made it up. this can well be india's competitive advantage. joel kotkin of USC once called engineering the 'oil of the 21st century'. well, what are all the engineers waiting for? go forth and design lean, will ya?
[i]Shouldn't Apple be suing them?[/i]Hardly. The target audiences are vastly different. It's unlikely that a lower middle-class person, wanting to buy the Nano car, will ever hear of the iPod Nano which is a rich man's gadget.But the name could have been more innovative.
By any standard of measurement, this is a great achievement. It is above all an engineer's victory - what Rajeev calls 'lean engineering'. I also like the fact that they have decentralised assembly of the car - all in keeping with the micro-manufacturing model that India so excelled at prior to the coming of the rapacious Brits. We canl call this 'econo-sizing'. Some time back - Tom Friedman divided the world between those that make the Lexus and those that fight over the Olive Tree - add a third category those that 'econo-size' everything. What can beat this? Make the same car run without the oil and electricity infrastructures. Make a car that is a solar battery on wheels. I would really like to see a car that you can park outside all day in India so that it gets fully charged and you simply drive it home. No need to build expensive coverend parking lots - no need for Arab oil or American deals. The Hans can keep sewing up oil contracts and pouring lead-paint in American toys! Only the Tata's can do it!
Nice comments, guys. Don't get me wrong, I too am enthused at Tata's new offering, and hope that it will benefit more than just Indians. I just feel that they could have found a name not already branded by Steve Jobs. As for solar-powered cars, check out Google's solar parking lot, which gathers energy to illuminate it at night. No car will ever have the surface area to accumulate much solar energy, but imagine solar roofing, etc that collects energy to charge your car. Tesla Motors is working on that. I'm also interested in Tata's project for a 1-lakh house for the poor. If it could incorporate solar power, even at additional cost, that would be great for the masses.
How ironic? mohammedans were massacring the Parsis. Parsis have come to India and have added SO MUCH VALUE to India. I wonder what the mohammedans think of this? Ratan Tata is my idol!
Nano is not a registered trade mark of Apple. It only means fraction of a billion.But, I do agree that nano is the lousiest name for this car.
In Ratan Tata's place, I'd have named it Mykra.
I think as long as we do not have a comprehensive transport policy, with ample driving and parking space (which could mean imposing severe restrictions on the number of vehicles in the city, like singapore, and better planning of cicties to spread the commuting needs), as long we drive like rowdies and indisciplined thugs on our roads, we will only look like absolute pack of worse jokers by compounding our abject transport situtation.People are lying around dead on the streets in accidents (you must have seen a few, I believe), pedestrians being given 3rd class treatment, and the situation being so horrendous that ambulances keep blaring for hours before they can move an inch, children being afflcited with asthma and what not.What kind of childish suppressed desires makes us overlook all this and laud addition of more cars when the need of the hour is to remove even the existing?Maybe all this is not visible to you as you are suffering from comfortable amnesia sitting in USA etc. What white people think and what they not is the least of our problems.The situtation is definitely far far bigger than production techniques etc. If all our production techniques can give us is a black asthmatic future, then despite all our techniques we remain the same- inferiority complex ridden low lives who want to impress a point on our erstwhile white masters- look we can make better cars than you. we will cut off our nose to spite our faces but ape their worst inventions i.e. cars
Hey Sunderlal, go hug one more tree!
And what are you going to hug, ratan tata's grand legs, or your black lungs?
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