Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Tata 1 Lakh Car

What is a Tata 1 Lakh car? It is the car that sells for 100,000 rupees or 1 lakh. That is roughly $2,500 US. Why is this significant? It is the worlds cheapest car in one of the largest and fastest growing automobile markets. The automobile has been a significant contributor to pollution so adding millions of vehicles will only add to this problem. There has been commentary that the car is so cheap because it lacks safety features and emissions controls. Here is a link to some specs and as you will see it is pretty bare bones by current standards.

I am currently doing some reading on India's economy and society and where the country is headed. The decisions made in India will have a profound impact on the rest of the world. If they sell 20 million of these cars the entire world will notice. India currently has an infrastructure deficit in many areas of transportation. Add cheap cars to the mix and this problem is exacerbated. Also, if more Indians own cars will they follow the U.S. style car culture of drive through fast food, suburbs and all the negative aspects associated with it?


Aquarius said...

But the fact that it is the cheapest car ever made does not mean that it is either low quality or a knock-off copy of some high-quality variant. As a senior Robert Bosch executive noted, "Low-price vehicles are not vehicles of inferior quality equipped with the most basic components8. . . They are inexpensive technical solutions produced using state-of-the-art components ." And low costs have been engineered into the car by designing the car afresh and not by using cheaper slimmed-down versions of existing components and designs.

It is a globally envisaged Indian manufacturing response to Indian needs, engineered for Indian conditions and markets. Indeed, in my view, given environmental concerns and urban densities, India's mobility requirements are perhaps best met by a combination of mass transit systems and small cars like the Tata 'people's car.'

But the Rs 1-lakh car, if it is commercially viable, being potentially a disruptive innovator, will compound the current competitive dis-advantage of American auto makers in small cars and constitute a very serious entry-barrier into one of the most dynamic segments of the car market.

7 in 1000 owns a car in India, where as 1 in 3 owns a car in America- By now you might now who leads in pollution

The Nubian Conservative said...

I wouldn't trust any dirty-ass car made in India ever. I wouldn't drive that pos if it were the only car in the world and my wife went into labor and the hospital was 50 miles away!

-Jesus saves.

Shilpa said...

There has been much hype over tata's 1-lakh car, after all its
1st of its kind.According to me, its a vengeance from Tata's side to all those sneering personalities of automobile industry who once mocked at him when he dreamt of Nano 10 years ago.
Even if it doesn't meet several environmental norms, people(who however were never concerned of "big" hole in ozone layer, melting glaciers or climatic changes)wouldn't mind buying such an affordable and stylish car.

FeButterfly said...

We will see how this car impacts the marketplace and the environment. I wonder how long the price will be able to stay at that level.