Nano in News: Good, Bad and Indifferent

Nano’s launch was historic for Ratan Tata, Tata Motors and even India, the emerging manufacturing power. Mamta made mess. Modi became the rescuer. Ratan Tata proved every skeptic ones wrong.

And now one can see little cute Nanos, though not many, on even on pot holed roads in many cities. With main operation gradually shifting to the main plant at Sanand Gujarat, the monthly production of Nanos is increasing. Tata Motors will very soon complete its commitment of selling Nanos at Rs one lac pretty soon and go for accepting new bookings.

Interestingly, as reported, even some rich prefers Nano as an additional car for the family for it being cost effective, be it for emergency shopping such as breads or milk in the morning or fetching the maid from her house. I suggested once my sons in US to have a Nano along with their gas guzzling cars. I am sure many Americans may follow.

Tata Motors are also planning multi-country launches of Nano. Besides Tata Motors many cranky Indians like this old man at seventy plus is hoping a great global brand getting created by this frugally engineered and manufactured Indian car. Will it happen?

Force Motors Ltd chairman Abhay Firodia who appears to be one from my school, said recently at the 50th annual convention of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers in New Delhi:

“The first 50 years of automobile industry belonged to the US, next to Europe, and then Japan took over in the last 50. I am waiting for a paradigm shift to happen, which could make India dominate at the global front,” “The Nano is perhaps one such step taken in that direction.”

Tata Motors are planning many versions- diesel, electric, hybrid of Nanos for different market spanning African, Latin American and former Soviet Russian countries besides European and American market. Will Tata Motors be able to make iPad of Nanos?

Indian auto sector is seeing boom. Qualitatively and export-wise, Indian performance has been significantly better. Even Chinese are somewhat worried. Will India become a globally significant, if not the top auto manufacturing country? One can certainly hope for it with the country’s progress towards product development.

However, Nano is also in news for wrong reason with media shown a Nano in flame on road. Will the technocrats of Tata Motors with its synergy from various developed countries find a quick enough answer to the cause and plug it to reach zero level?

I was shocked to read the words of Ratan Tata on the issue in the general body meeting. Tata said, “We are going to do a thorough and detailed investigation on the incident. As and when we are able to determine the cause, we will make a statement.”

I expected a better answer from the head of Tata Motors, the 19th largest automotive company and also the 15th largest commercial vehicle maker in the world?

Is it not a little indifferent approach, something that I had thought till now is the prerogative only of an executive of Indian government? Is it behind the reasons of absence of the customers excitement about Nanos?

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