Monday, March 23, 2009

Tata Nano

It is not pretty, but neither was the Volkswagen. Recall that the selling price for Volkswagen in the late sixties was just under $2,000. That is now forty years ago and a major inflation ago. Recall also that the majority of the major brands were created by entering the market with the cheapest solution. Who can forget the early Toyota?

The new vehicle standard is going to be light and electric because they are going to be range sensitive from now on. Everyone will be conscious that their personal weight and passenger weight is a major fraction of total load. This was rarely the case before.
Since we will be so directly conscious of total load, just like in an airplane, we will begin making our choices accordingly. At least until the third generation super capacitor power pack comes out with enough juice to carry a ton or so a thousand miles.

I see real merit in a short two seater vehicle not dissimilar to this. Getting rid of the unloved and barely used rear seat is a great weight saver. Right now, such a design would lengthen the effective range from current battery technology.

Manufacturing technology has clearly evolved and this is a massive shift into a brand new automotive market that is many time larger than the present market in terms of vehicle volume.

World's cheapest car is launched

The Tata Nano, the world's cheapest car, has been launched in India.
Costing just 100,000 rupees ($1,979; £1,366), the Nano will now go on sale across India next month, with deliveries starting in July.

Tata hopes the 10-foot (3-metre) long, five-seater car will be cheap enough to encourage millions of Indians to trade up from their motorcycles.

Tata owner Ratan Tata has described the Nano as a "milestone". Analysts say it will not make a profit for six years.

Tata's managing director Ravi Kant said that from the first orders, a ballot would then select the initial 100,000 people to get their Nano.

"I think we are at the gates of offering a new form of transport to the people of India and later, I hope, other markets elsewhere in the world," Mr Tata added.
"I hope it will provide safe, affordable four-wheel transportation to families who till now have not been able to own a car."

Environmentalists are warning that the Nano will add to India's already clogged up roads, and pollution levels will soar. Tata says the Nano will be the least polluting car in India.

Factory row
The four-door Nano has a 33bhp, 624cc engine at the rear.

The basic model has no airbags, air conditioning, radio, or power steering.
However, more luxurious versions will be available.

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