Tata Nano – The beginning of a new era

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Ratan Tata striking a pose with Nano (Image courtesy: bradstinyworld.com)

It’s finally out. The world’s cheapest car is up for the taking now, thanks to the hard working guys at Tata Motors who made the launch possible without much delay (which was being expected due to the shift in manufacturing plant location). Touted as the “one lakh-worth car”, it’s price start from Rs. 1.3 Lakh and goes upto Rs. 1.8 Lakh. Well, that’s a decent price for an entry level car, taking in consideration the various features it has to offer.

This cute little car can speed upto 105 km/hour; pretty decent speed within a city and some highways. It also promises to offer a modest economy of 23 km/litre of petrol. As the engine has been shifted to the back of the car, it makes for huge leg space for the front seats; comfortable driving, you say?

It will be made available in 3 models – Basic, CX and LX – mentioned in increasing order of prices. Don’t expect air-conditioning system in the basic model, and the center-locking system is available only in the LX model. Being a really small and light-weight car, power steering has not been made available in any of the three models. Wikipedia is probably the best source to explore all its features and specifications further.

An interesting thing related to the launch of this small car is that initially it will be made available to only 1 lakh customers until the manufacturing capacity is increased further or more factories are setup. Obviously, the initial bookings are set to exceed this1 lakh mark, so the Tata people came up with a plan. Each potential customer will have to book the car by sending a form to Tata Motors. Out of all the applications received, a draw will be held to select the lucky 1 lakh guys! Whoa! And the forms come at a price – Rs. 300 each. Another money making scheme by the Indian giant conglomerate?

One this is sure – the car is poised to begin a new era of small & cheap cars, and will spark a new revolution in a country where not even every middle-class family can afford a car.