After the Mamta sabotaged the Nano project in Singur, Tata Motors was under test for its capability to bring in the Nano in a respectable time frame. Nano’s official launch yesterday was a great achievement for Tata Motors, its management, its engineers, and its vendors. Within fifteen months of the unveiling of Nano at Auto Expo 2008 in New Delhi, Ratan Tata could make the launch happen in Mumbai yesterday. Nano arrived with a lot of fanfare in a function in Mumbai. Specifications are known today, prices of different versions are known. Process of booking including one on line is known. Media provides the test reports of the expert drivers who were offered the Nanos for test driving. To some, Nano is second to none. Many myths and doubts have gone. Nano is certainly safe. Nano’s engineering is innovative and robust enough. To some the engine is a little noisy, but good enough. Bosch has done a good job for engine management. Tyre and steering manufacturers have provided some cost effective solution. Nano is today among the wonder cars. The car has 21% more space than the smallest car available now and 12-13% more than other small cars in the country.
Tata has gone in history with flying colours with Nano with all other people movers such as Henry Ford. Mr. Ratan Tata gave the story behind the idea of Nano again in an interview. “Today’s story started some years ago when I observed families riding on two wheelers, the father driving a scooter, his young kid standing in front of him, his wife sitting behind him holding a baby, and I asked myself whether one could conceive of a safe, affordable, all-weather form of transport for such a family. A vehicle that could be within everybody’s reach, built to meet all safety standards, designed to meet or exceed emission norms and low in pollution and high in fuel efficiency. I am happy we are at the threshold of achieving that dream.”
Tata had announced the plan of manufacturing an Rs 1 lakh car some six year ago at Geneva Motor Show. Tata Motors is keeping the promise for the first 1, 00,000 cars going to the customers booking the cars within a time period already announced through a computerized random selection process. Can any company keep the price constant for six years without real innovative approaches in cost reduction? The country must salute and honour the engineers of Tata Motors. I wish many such examples could be created by Indian engineers. It will certainly prove the manufacturing capability of the nation.
The automotive industry experts opine that Nano, the Rs 1-lakh wonder can give an additional 14 million Indian families an access to an affordable car, according to market research firm Crisil. Nano’s price reduces the cost of ownership of an entry-level car by 30 per cent. And it is all innovative processes for this globally recognized innovative product all the way including advertising through web search and virtual marketing or social networking groups. And one could get a feel of it in crashing of the website taatanano.com with 45 million hits yesterday.
Ratan Tata confidently emphasized that Nano was not a “gimmick” but a successful business proposition. As Dr V. Sumantran, formerly Executive Director (Passenger Car Business Unit and Engineering Research Centre), Tata Motors, was associated with the Nano project during its conception. Now Executive Vice-Chairman, Hinduja Automotive Ltd, says, ‘Nano is a watershed moment for the automobile industry in India’. The Nano will do well, because of its affordability, and its maneuverability in India’s crowded streets.
India has arrived in passenger car sector with Nano with a pride born of out of unique innovation that Carlos Ghoshn named frugal manufacturing. Auto component sector of India proved its scalability and engineering skill to be a smart player globally.
Tata Motors must keep on improving on Nano’s quality and gets expanding in different market. With the price advantages, it can be huge volume car. Supply must match the demand. People do not like waiting for something it loves to possess. Tata must keep scaling up production fast enough.
At least a million in India today may buy the Nanos with cash.
And can Tatas find the solutions to some unique problems of Indian customers? My cousin who is a doctor by profession can buy the Nano but he will keep himself with his motorcycle. The reason is the lack of a place where he can keep his car safely. He doesn’t like to shift to a new house for possessing a car. Similar problems in rural India also discourage some persons from buying a car.