Indian Autos Thread

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Arya Sumantra » 21 Mar 2009 14:40

Raja Bose wrote:And whats with this high concentration of WKKs amongst bengalis....is it the commie+JNU exposure??


- Excessive collections of wrong books(commie propaganda) in land of voracious readers. a friend from kerala(ruled by commies) described how those chessbooks(Endgame series etc) in public libraries started with chess moves and end with commie propaganda)
- Poverty/Caste focussed art movie producers generating self-pity,
- first community to learn English and therefore first to succumb to leftist liberal English & Evangelist propaganda and lose grassroot indian pragmatism. Learned intellectuals like Swami Vivekananda and nationalists like Netaji, Rabindranath Tagore were outnumbered by anglicized "buddhijeevis" who took greater pride in Shakespeare than Kalidas.

JMT and not meant to hurt anyone.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby SriniY » 21 Mar 2009 15:15

I really doubt whether roads in major cities like Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore can handle a sudden influx of a large number of vehicles ( donno about other cities). If the Nano is aimed at people living in semi-urban/rural areas it is an excellent idea to give them a good means of transport. However, if a lot of city dwelling people purchase the car, roads can get very crowded in cities. Coupled with lack of parking spaces within cities and bad driving, things can get pretty messy.

Anyways, is there any way (has there been a study) to look at how much road traffic can be supported in urban roads in India.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Suraj » 21 Mar 2009 15:45

Homogeneous traffic makes for easier management and smoother flow, more so than numbers alone. It would be easier when most vehicles are cars, than the current situation of 2, 3, 4 and higher wheel count vehicles all jockeying . Also, the Nano's engine is less polluting than the average autorockshaw. The Nano would be a great option both in rural and urban India.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Arya Sumantra » 21 Mar 2009 15:54

Suraj wrote:Also, the Nano's engine is less polluting than the average autorockshaw.


Wish all autorickshaws get replaced by a CNG version of Nano.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Nayak » 21 Mar 2009 16:47

I can imagine the endless possibilities of modding a Nano. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

Maybe we can have the desi version of hot rod racing just like the gringos hain !!!

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby archan » 23 Mar 2009 16:44

Challenge some college kids with making a hard top convertible version. Put in a peppy 1.6L and better tires. :mrgreen:

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Viv Sreenivasan » 23 Mar 2009 17:18

Nano is a significant achivement by TATA, from all accounts it is a well put together car that is a lot roomier than its size would suggest. This is due to its 'tall boy' stance that maximises interior space and practicality.

There should be MASSIVE exports of this little beauty to the African continent. Cars will probably be delivered in CKD condition and they will be put together in a factory and sold in africa, win win, jobs created in africa and TATA gets to sell its cars. Hope they export millions.

GO TATA :D

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Viv Sreenivasan » 23 Mar 2009 17:20

lol nice idea but i dont think NANO can handle much more power than say 50KW. Its very 'tall boy' and balance issues would come to the fore i think.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby krishnan » 23 Mar 2009 17:30

Good afternoon to Mamata'

Asked what he would tell Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee, who forced Tata out of Singur, the industrialist quipped: "My statement to Mamata Banerjee is, 'Good afternoon.'"



http://business.rediff.com/report/2009/ ... -image.htm

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby manish » 23 Mar 2009 22:11

NYT, continues its patronising tone of reporting on India related matters(remember last week's much hyped up 'Hunger Persists' article with a picture of a starving child added in for appropriate shock value?) - this time it is the Nano:
World’s Cheapest Car: Boon or Bane?

http://greeninc.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/23/worlds-cheapest-car-boon-or-bane/?hp
The caption under the main picture reads:
Ratan Tata, the chairman of India’s Tata Group, which is poised to market the wold’s cheapest car: the Nano. Not everyone is thrilled.

Then there is the usual lecture on why it is bad for SDRE Indians to come out of their dark narrow places of worship and drive around in tall, bright and tiny cars:
Environmentalists, however, have decried the Nano and its low-cost imitators as an impending disaster. Certainly, the seemingly guaranteed success of the Nano may create more traffic and strain on India’s already rickety urban infrastructure.

But the best part is the reader's comments section. Even some of the Amirkhans are getting tired of this daily drivel:
The jet fuel used by Albert Gore in one year is equivalent to the fuel used by 87g Indian families driving a Nano for the same period. Is freedom an progress of 87g Indians worth less to the world that a failed presidential candidate whose only real accomplishment is doing a voice over for a movie?ouch - that is going to hurt The Man Who Invented The Internet :rotfl:

— Lyle Vos

So India can raise its standard of living, and this is considered a bad thing?


But sadly, some of the Indian commenters seem to be still sticking to the old WKK traditions....

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Raja Bose » 24 Mar 2009 03:49

Suraj wrote:Homogeneous traffic makes for easier management and smoother flow, more so than numbers alone. It would be easier when most vehicles are cars, than the current situation of 2, 3, 4 and higher wheel count vehicles all jockeying . Also, the Nano's engine is less polluting than the average autorockshaw. The Nano would be a great option both in rural and urban India.


Suraj, you got that absolutely right. I would highly recommend jingos here to read the book Traffic (Amazon link) which has a substantial chapter dedicated to the traffic patterns in Delhi and Maxwell Pereria's observations on that. He clearly points out that whereas in West there are only 7-10 heterogeneous types of traffic, in Delhi alone that number is in the 50s-70s (iirc)! :shock: This in itself is a large factor in the chaotic accident-prone traffic that we see in India. Having something like the Nano to replace the thelas, autos, myriad two wheelers etc. would go a long way in reducing the chaos.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Sanjay M » 24 Mar 2009 11:04


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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Virupaksha » 24 Mar 2009 11:10

Raja Bose wrote:Suraj, you got that absolutely right. I would highly recommend jingos here to read the book Traffic (Amazon link) which has a substantial chapter dedicated to the traffic patterns in Delhi and Maxwell Pereria's observations on that. He clearly points out that whereas in West there are only 7-10 heterogeneous types of traffic, in Delhi alone that number is in the 50s-70s (iirc)! :shock: This in itself is a large factor in the chaotic accident-prone traffic that we see in India. Having something like the Nano to replace the thelas, autos, myriad two wheelers etc. would go a long way in reducing the chaos.

A slow ban of 3 wheelers is the need of the hour. At the same time, it requires a much higher public transport.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Singha » 24 Mar 2009 11:13

some of the boos from the bestern audience is because they have not made the
metal adjustment yet to think small/efficient the way most not-so-well-off countries have done. they havent realized that going fwd, keeping a 2200 sq ft
individual home and 2 camry sized cars or 1 car + 1 truck for the avg family + supporting two kids with declining govt funding(schools will pass on more fees) + increased cost of healthcare (AND) keeping debt levels low is going to be difficult. an era draws to a close...the golden age...age of plenty..new renaissance(!) whatever one calls it...

rather than bask in the glow of past glories and plot to recapture the glory of
rome , the wise would think of the future when rome is a moderately powerful and large civilization onree and NOT the center of the "civilized world".

the bottom 70% imo will never make that adjustment. the next 25% will adjust
in due course. the top 5% sharp nosed rats have already adjusted and made
their moves to profit from the dawn of the new era.

large changes in lifestyles and economic models that would normally take
decades of slow creeping change is being forced down people's throats in 1 year,
hence the yelps of pain , panic and finger pointing. nobody likes to be on the
losing side, but the choice is no longer theirs to make...its been forced...change
or perish.


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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby vina » 24 Mar 2009 12:45

Frenchies go green with envy and turn up the vitriol :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Envy, scepticism over Nano in France

Vaiju Naravane

Paris: The launch in India of the Nano, the Tata people’s car, was greeted here with a mixture of envy, scepticism, derision and fear.

Envy because the Tatas have shown astounding chutzpah in launching a new car at a time when the world automobile market is in free fall.

The scepticism and derision are an attempt by the automobile industry here to disguise its fear of stiff competition from India in the low cost market for which the West is totally unprepared and which appears to be the future trend.

The headlines in France today fully reflected these elements: “Tata will have to demonstrate the security of its Nano,” “Its a plastic bubble on four wheels” or “Tata will face a distribution problem” were some of the put downers in this morning’s newspapers and radio talks shows. Many newspapers pointed out that the car, which costs at the most Rs. 1.20 lakh, will be available for a minimum of €5,000 when it hits European markets in the next two years.

That is nevertheless a solid €3,000 less than the Renault Logan, the cheapest car on the European market today. Many of the experts called in to comment on the Nano derided its lack of security — “no air bags or electrically operated windows, a single windscreen wiper and a miniscule two-cylinder engine just about as powerful as a scooter! The engine is in the back which leaves almost no room for storage.”

An article by the press agency AP widely picked up by the regional press here said: “The vehicle has just one wiper. It has neither airbag nor ABS brakes — not obligatory in India. And if the buyer wants a radio, a power steering or air-conditioning he will have to dip further into his pocket.”

One of the experts said the Nano had not passed a “crash test”. It would probably fail to pass one, said the commentator.

The independent crash test association Euro-NCAP has confirmed that the car has not undergone a crash test. “It is a kinder surprise [a chocolate egg for children] with a tiny engine,” said Frédéric Fréry, professeur À l’ESCP-EAP school of commerce.

“And even if the Nano successfully passes these tests, the Tatas will still have a hard time convincing European buyers. Consumers don’t take questions of security lightly. And then, other low cost cars like the Skoda or the Lada remain on the margins with very limited sales.”

The Tata group could also run into distribution problems for launching its new car in Europe, observed an automobile magazine. “The owners of the Jaguar can hardly use the dealerships of this luxury brand to flog their low cost model. They could have internet sales but then who would do their after sales service or stock spares?” the article asked.

However, some papers, like Le Parisien quoting the news agency AFP, did treat the event objectively. “Tata’s Nano inaugurates a new era of low cost cars. And Tata has an advantage, because most European car makers, with the exception of Peugeot / Citroen are only just beginning to finalise similar ventures. Stunned by the success of Renault’s Logan, European car makers do not wish to miss this particular gravy train.

A third of EU buyers could be seduced by low cost solutions. A recent German study showed that 10 million low cost cars could be in circulation in Europe by 2015,” concluded Le Parisien.

© Copyright 2000 - 2008 The Hindu

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Arya Sumantra » 24 Mar 2009 12:51

I for one am very happy with psy-ops against Nano. This time the psy-ops are too obvious and yindians are giving it back in various comments.

In the meanwhile a better review http://www.autocar.co.uk/VideosWallpapers/Videos.aspx?AR=238876&CT=V

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Dileep » 24 Mar 2009 13:22

And then, other low cost cars like the Skoda or the Lada remain on the margins with very limited sales

WTF!! According to the TFTAs here, Skoda is an uber luxury car, driven by film stars and big bijnessmen!

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Singha » 24 Mar 2009 13:25

from a bbc blog : "is the nano good for yindia?"

Added: Tuesday, 24 March, 2009, 24:29 GMT 00:29 UK

Good or bad the Tato Nano is an Indian product and entirely their business and none of the UK's. If you really want to address the car pollution problem you should by locking the three Top Gear idiots Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May who probably produce more car pollution than a million or more Indians. Then next address the problem of the UK itself, which is considered by many world visitors as the world's largest car park.

Len, Perth, Australia


Added: Tuesday, 24 March, 2009, 24:16 GMT 00:16 UK

Why only in India? Hasn't Tata heard about what's going on in the US economy? Somebody get them a newspaper. At this rate the Nano will be the only car 90% of us can afford. Sad part is they're too small to run over wall street execs with, it'll just bounce off of their egos and fat pockets.

JD, Seattle

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby manish » 24 Mar 2009 21:37

Good tidings for the Nano!
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/SBI-sees-tremendous-response-for-Nano/articleshow/4310947.cms
SBI sees tremendous response for Nano
24 Mar 2009, 2122 hrs IST, PTI
MUMBAI: Bookings for Rs 1 lakh Nano car by the Tata Motors are pouring in from all parts of the country as the sole booking agent SBI on Tuesday said it has distributed lakhs of applications for the world's cheapest car.

"We have distributed lakhs of applications for Nano across the country. We are getting a tremendous response from people for Nano," SBI Chairman O P Bhatt told reporters here.

The lender has inked an exclusive agreement with Tata Motors for the management of the bookings of Nano through its pan-India network. Around 1,350 branches of SBI in 850 cities would assist in the booking process of the Nano.

Booking forms will be distributed and the filled-up application forms with the booking amount will be collected through SBI's branches.

The bank will be marketing the application forms through its 11,111-plus branches. Customers will be provided end-to-end processing with a bouquet of retail products for the bookings.

Apart from extending loans for Nano purchase, the refund to unsuccessful applicants will also be available at SBI branches, SBI said.

The sale of application forms and acceptance of booking amount at SBI branches will start from April 9 and will go on till April 25.


Many analysts have been betting that the Nano bookings can single handedly pull Tata out of the near - cash crunch it is experiencing. I hope so as well!
Even if 1,00,000 bookings took place, the cash received will be Rs 300,000,000 @ Rs. 2999 per booking and Tata anyways is said to be expecting the numbers to far exceed that.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Sriman » 24 Mar 2009 22:04

Nano second to none

I'm loving the pys-ops, bring it on :twisted:

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby vsudhir » 25 Mar 2009 00:38

Nano aspirants flood SBI offices across country

The sole booking agent SBI says it has distributed lakhs of applications for the world's cheapest car.


Whoever said Nano would have a tough time selling enough cars to break even, eh? Tata motors needs to massively ramp up production capacity x10, seems like.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Gerard » 25 Mar 2009 02:50

India's Nano, Driving Like a (National) Dream
By Emily Wax
Washington Post Foreign Service

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Jayram » 25 Mar 2009 04:33

manish wrote:NYT, continues its patronising tone of reporting on India related matters(remember last week's much hyped up 'Hunger Persists' article with a picture of a starving child added in for appropriate shock value?) - this time it is the Nano:
World’s Cheapest Car: Boon or Bane?

http://greeninc.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/23/worlds-cheapest-car-boon-or-bane/?hp
The caption under the main picture reads:
Ratan Tata, the chairman of India’s Tata Group, which is poised to market the wold’s cheapest car: the Nano. Not everyone is thrilled.

Then there is the usual lecture on why it is bad for SDRE Indians to come out of their dark narrow places of worship and drive around in tall, bright and tiny cars:
Environmentalists, however, have decried the Nano and its low-cost imitators as an impending disaster. Certainly, the seemingly guaranteed success of the Nano may create more traffic and strain on India’s already rickety urban infrastructure.

But the best part is the reader's comments section. Even some of the Amirkhans are getting tired of this daily drivel:
The jet fuel used by Albert Gore in one year is equivalent to the fuel used by 87g Indian families driving a Nano for the same period. Is freedom an progress of 87g Indians worth less to the world that a failed presidential candidate whose only real accomplishment is doing a voice over for a movie?ouch - that is going to hurt The Man Who Invented The Internet :rotfl:

— Lyle Vos

So India can raise its standard of living, and this is considered a bad thing?


But sadly, some of the Indian commenters seem to be still sticking to the old WKK traditions....


There are lot of comments on that article and except for a few almost all are Positive or at least anti that stoopid article.... The folks are calling out NYT hypocrysy.. You cant fool all the people all the time...

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby vsudhir » 25 Mar 2009 07:11

Expectedly the conomist rag has aimed it noxious attentions at Des's beloved Nano.
Nanoconomics 2[/url]

interesting titbits...
First, it is worth remembering that the iconic price was not the Tatas’ idea. Ratan Tata, chairman of the group, did not set out to create a “one-lakh car” (lakh is an Indian word for 100,000). He did not even set out to make a car. His aim was to create a safe and affordable mode of transport for India, where families of four or five often travel on two wheels, the children squeezed in between Mum and Dad, in a cosy but risky marsupial arrangement.

It was us—the journalists—who were responsible for the price tag that became a manifesto. At the Geneva motor show six years ago, a reporter asked Mr Tata what he meant by affordable: “Like one lakh?” the reporter asked. Mr Tata thought that was the right order of magnitude. The figure was then plastered all over the media. “Rather than refute it, we set that as our goal”, Mr Tata explained yesterday.


The company hopes to make money from merchandising, selling every frippery you need to pimp your Nano, {the reverence... ooooh....the fawning reverence.... :mrgreen: } as well as T-shirts, bags, key-rings—even a Nano teddy bear.


heh heh indeed

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Dileep » 25 Mar 2009 08:09

What should be done to the stoopid desis (mostly ABCD or MUTU I guess) who complain about AIRBAGS?

AIRBAGS! My A$$!! My top end Ford Fiesta don't have them! When I was on the look, only the top end Chevy Aveo had them as an option.

I am fine if a non-desi does it. It irritates me when a desi plants the musharraff on the high horse, and gives out what the horse would!

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Raja Bose » 25 Mar 2009 08:18

Is Airbags standard in massa or is it optional for passenger side? ABCDs might be used to airbags requirement if it is standard in massa, otherwise they are using their mouths as their musharrafs...sames goes for the goras.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Bade » 25 Mar 2009 08:52

My old workhorse a Chrysler Caravalle of '83 make had only driver side air-bags. Nowadays, I assume all are required to have dual side airbags.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Ardeshir » 25 Mar 2009 09:13

**Self Edited - Wrong Thread**
Last edited by Ardeshir on 25 Mar 2009 09:50, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby ArmenT » 25 Mar 2009 09:37

Since 1998, dual front airbags are required by law in the United States and they're required to be 2nd generation airbag technology as well. Before then (at least in the early 90s) only a single airbag was required by law.

Apparently European cars are not required by law to have airbags (at least according to Wiki), but they take their safety pretty seriously anyway. My 1994 BMW had dual airbags even when only one was mandated by law in the US. The Europeans have an independent organization called Euro NCAP that runs crash tests and publishes safety rating data. Apparently they're pretty influential because a lot of European consumers won't buy a car with a low safety rating from Euro NCAP and manufacturers go out of their way to advertise that their latest offerings have a very high safety rating.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby ArmenT » 25 Mar 2009 09:54

Sriman wrote:Nano second to none

I'm loving the pys-ops, bring it on :twisted:

This article answered the question I asked on the previous page. The LCD on the right of the speedo is a combination odometer and fuel gauge.

However, it has a bit of -ve psy-ops as well
Frugal engineering continues with power window buttons housed in the centre console instead of the doors.

That isn't frugal engineering. That is simply good sense! I never liked the fact that some cars have power window controls on each door and the driver's side has controls to also open the passenger's side. Instead just having one set of switches in the center console is perfect because they can be reached from both driver and passenger. Someone ought to tell the writer that all BMWs have this very same feature and no one calls that frugal engineering!

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby ChandraS » 25 Mar 2009 12:07

pandyan wrote:..the funny thing is replacing each airbag costs around $2000. so, even a minor crash could trigger an expense of around $18K just for replacing the airbags....I have heard stories of cars being written off just because of airbags


That's the reason car insurance companies here in the US ask if the airbag was deployed when you report an accident. This determines whether they will salvage or total your car. Also airbag deployment is noted in the vehicle's history in addition to any frame damage.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Philip » 25 Mar 2009 12:26

Hail the Nano! It's not a "nono" at all,judging from this and many other reviews.in fact I'm like lakhs of Indians going to book one for the firm to be used as a city runabout.Let me tell you from my knowledge of paris and Parisians,that the Nano will be a massive hit there.It will be to them,"Tres chic" and envirofriendly,with the Europa version.Paris,Barcelona and many UK cities will be the Nano's happy hunting grounds.AS th Times says,the Nano will be the "most influential car on the planet".Hail Tata and his team of Indian designers!

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/drivin ... =12&page=2

Tata Nano
Boy racers and farmers, your ride is here. Why this new runabout will be the most influential car on the planet
Sirish Chandran

You get into a car costing a lakh rupees (100,000 rupees, or £1,390) with zero expectations. Things are bound to break, you tell yourself, and you drive gingerly. Being Indian, I forced myself into a charitable frame of mind, ready to overlook its faults (not unlike the Americans when faced with a new Mustang or British magazines every time an Aston Martin comes along).

But the Nano doesn’t need you to be kind: it will impress you on its merits. If it sells in anything like the numbers that its maker predicts, this cute, snub-nosed runabout could become the most influential car on the planet. It will mobilise millions in India and across southeast Asia on a scale not seen since Giovanni Agnelli transformed post-war Italy from a nation of Vespa riders into a society of proud Fiat 500 drivers.

Ratan Tata, the man behind the giant industrial conglomerate that owns Jaguar and Land Rover, shared Agnelli’s vision of affordable four-wheeled transport for the masses when he began work on the project in 2003. “I observed families riding on two-wheelers — the father driving the scooter, his young child standing in front of him, his wife seated behind him holding a little baby. It led me to wonder whether one could conceive of a safe, affordable, all-weather form of transport for such a family.”

The result, after five years of development and numerous setbacks, was this low-cost four-door, rear-engined family transporter that copes with potholed Indian roads with aplomb, even with four six-footers inside. Thought the Toyota iQ was radical? Think again.

For the Indian market, there will be three variants of the Nano — standard, CX and LX. The standard really is bog standard — rexine seats, no air-conditioning, no frills; and because there’s less weight (to the tune of 60kg) it is the boy racer’s choice, being slightly faster than the more deluxe versions. Our test car, an LX, boasted air-con, electric front windows (rears remain wind-down), central locking, front and rear fog lamps and full fabric seats.

The engine is a tiny 623cc, four-valve, all-aluminium twin-cylinder unit, fed by a cheap Bosch fuel-injection system. It makes a measly 33bhp of power and 35 lb ft of torque so it’s a relief to know there’s only 600kg to lug around. Fuel economy is claimed to be 67mpg, and CO2 emissions are 110g/km or less. That may not sound impressive in developed European markets, but here it’s claimed to be 12% lower than any motorbike in the country.

From the outside it sounds like a slightly muffled auto-rickshaw and when worked hard it takes on a pleasant phut-phut sound. The deluxe version gets to 37mph in 9.8sec, which in Indian traffic means it can comfortably keep pace. After 50mph it struggles, and getting to 62mph takes a yawning 35.1sec. It peaks at 65mph, which is probably a good thing because braking is the one area in which the Nano is slightly iffy. The brakes aren’t progressive and emergency stops make the rear feel a tad loose.

It’s a city car, then, and in the environment it’s comfortable in, it is a hoot to drive. The steering is quick and direct, almost to the point of being like a go-kart’s. The four-speed manual gearbox makes easy work of keeping the engine on the boil and it can dive between buses, squeeze past bikes, nudge to the front of the queue and undertake with glee. The 26ft turning circle means it can U-turn pretty well anywhere and though I didn’t try, I suspect it could even jump onto cycle tracks — in India everything goes. It’s so quick through the city that, hard though they tried, the Tata engineers keeping me company couldn’t keep up in their Indica. Remember that Pac-Man arcade game, in which you had to eat the dots while being chased by ghosts through a maze? You’ve now got the picture of a Nano in the city.

It’s a happy little thing. It brings a grin to your face. It is easy to curse the Nano for the prospect of millions of them jamming up our already congested roads, but it is cute enough to make you smile, and then it’s got you.

Driving through the streets of Pune — Tata Motors’ home town — we were mobbed every time we stopped to take pictures. The next day the local newspaper featured our test drive. Every man, woman and child waved, yanked out their mobile phone and fired a million questions. An army general sent his flunky to ask about the car.

When we stopped to take pictures on a farm, two villagers pulled up on their motorcycles, had a poke inside and said they’d pool resources and buy a Nano instead of two bikes. That’s exactly what Indian bike manufacturers are scared of — that rural India’s car-buying aspirations will find fulfilment and cheap and dreary 100cc bikes will become unwanted. It is why the second largest bike maker, Bajaj Auto, has teamed up with Renault to make its own lakh-rupee car.

Light grey colours give the cabin air and while the plastics are cheap they’re not nasty. Fit and finish is good, with no yawning panel gaps. The dashboard is basic, with a central instrument stack that means both left- and right-hand-drive markets are already catered for. The base for the Nano is a monocoque in which two cross members are welded to the shell, taking most of the load and allowing the upper structure to be thin and light.

Without performing an impromptu crash test, the one thing I can’t say for sure is how safe the Nano is but it certainly complies with all the rules so it will be as safe (or unsafe) as any Indian car. Tata engineers are keen to stress that it meets India’s tightened regulatory requirements, including those on frontal crashes; head and body impacts on the steering wheel; and seatbelt anchorage strength. There are crumple zones in the front, reinforcement in the doors to resist side impact and a strong passenger cell that allowed the Nano to survive roll-over tests.

For a car that’s only 10ft long and 5ft wide, it’s surprisingly spacious. The 80-litre boot is under the rear parcel shelf (the tailgate doesn’t open) and as it’s above the engine you might not want to leave any ice cream there. But flip the seats and you get 500 litres, which is more than enough for a week’s groceries. The space in the nose is taken up by the spare tyre and fuel filler pipe, firmly ruling out golf clubs.

It rides on tiny 12in wheels; grip is decent, allowing it to be thrown around with surprising verve, and it feels safe and understeery. In fact, the Nano is extremely good fun to take out. Its rear-wheel drive means you can pull miniature powerslides on gravel roads. Body roll is pronounced but it never feels as though it’ll land on its roof.

So the Nano is a match for cars that are double its price yet it doesn’t feel like half a car. Ignore the cheap rubber parts, forget it has a coat or two less paint and only one wing mirror, and there are no visual signs of cost-cutting. Ultimately that is what will make the Nano India’s class-buster.

It’s a car that rich folk will buy for their college-going kids. It’s a car middle-class Indians will buy to run to the grocer’s. It’s a car rural India will buy to trundle down dusty tracks. There honestly isn’t anything to hate about the Nano, and provided Tata can get reliability right, I can guarantee half of India will be lined up to grab a booking form. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised, come launch day, to find myself elbowing my way to that reservation counter.

Sirish Chandran is the editor of Overdrive magazine and host of the Overdrive show on Indian television

STRONGER, SAFER, SEXIER: THE NANO HEADS FOR EUROPE

The Nano is coming to you, but not immediately. Tata Motors is working on a higher-spec Nano, shown in concept form at the Geneva international motor show, which will meet basic European safety standards. The Nano Europa will come with antilock brakes, an electronic stability program and, yes, airbags, and the target is a minimum three-star Euro NCAP rating, if not four.

What else will change? The Europa looks a lot classier thanks to its sculpted bumpers and cooler-looking wheels. The bumpers are actually fatter than the Indian equivalents because of increased crumple zones, and the Europa’s track is also wider than that of its Indian cousin, to give it better handling.

All this adds weight, so Tata is also working towards replacing the Indian two-cylinder unit with a three-cylinder petrol engine with 98g/km C02 and 67mpg, as well as a diesel engine in due course.

Of course all this won’t come for a lakh rupees — expect it to cost in the region of £4,500 when it comes to Europe in 2011.

Tata Nano

ENGINE 623cc, two cylinders
POWER 33bhp @ 5250rpm
TORQUE 35 lb ft @ 2500rpm
TRANSMISSION 4-speed manual
FUEL/CO2 67mpg/ 110g/km
ACCELERATION 0-62mph: 35.1sec
TOP SPEED 65mph
PRICE £1,390
TAX BAND n/a
VERDICT Destined to be the biggest small car in the world


AdityaM
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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby AdityaM » 25 Mar 2009 15:13

When the midget called "Smart" is so popular in europe, then Nano should be right up there in the popularity list.

svinayak
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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby svinayak » 25 Mar 2009 16:51

Gerard wrote:India's Nano, Driving Like a (National) Dream
By Emily Wax
Washington Post Foreign Service

My former roommate is the AGM for the supplier div in T Motors

Gerard
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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Gerard » 26 Mar 2009 07:24


Sanjay M
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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Sanjay M » 26 Mar 2009 10:20

Another video review:



Not too shabby words from the Guardian, even though they do prefer to drive on the Left :P

Sanjay M
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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Sanjay M » 26 Mar 2009 10:30

More good words:




But the smartest bet would be to wait on the diesel model, though. You'll get more power, better mileage/range, and the fuel cost would be lower.

Sanjay M
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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Sanjay M » 26 Mar 2009 10:44

But so will the insurance be higher for the Nano?


Sanjay M
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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Sanjay M » 26 Mar 2009 12:33



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