I had a nice experience this Saturday. Shannon and Anand had found out a nice location for a picnic in Cary. A day before, they had visited the place to ensure its worth for taking us over there.
It happened to be the picturesque Jordan Lake, the right place for persons like me to spend some quality time right with nature. While the speeding motor boats at some distance in lake were exciting, the mild but divine invitation from the sound from the waves in the lake was equally alluring. We went for a short walk on the walking track laid near the water front.
Zack and Emma demanded attention. But they also gave us immense happiness with their daredevil attempts and activities in play zone. I really enjoyed and liked Zach’s daring reaction to the stranger boy who was much older than him and wanted to prevail over Zach.
Finally, Shannon and Anand have found a good place to come sometimes for distressing which they are missing here in NC. Actually they knew what they would do on a week end in Pleasanton, California with a large number of places of attractions. They are still in exploratory mode in Cary, North Carolina. But Jordon Lake can certainly be one good place to visit with guests or kids.
And then suddenly I found another attraction for me. I saw a small car parked at a distance. I wondered how Tata’s Nano can be here. But on enquiry to Anand I could know that it’s the famous Smart to which Fareed Zakaria had mentioned in his article in Time that I read and referred in an earlier blog entry of mine too. He wrote:
Two weeks ago, I sat in a Nano, the revolutionary car being produced by Tata Motors in India. It’s a nice, comfortable midgetmobile, much like Mercedes-Benz’s Smart car, except that rather than costing $22,000, it costs about $2,400. Tata plans to bring it to the U.S. in two to three years. Properly equipped with air bags and other safety features, it will retail at $7,000. Leave aside the car itself, whose price will surely put a downward pressure on U.S. carmakers. Just think about car parts. Every part in the Nano is made to global standards but manufactured in India at about a tenth of what it would cost in America. When Ford orders its next set of car parts, will they be made in Michigan or Mumbai?”
-Fareed Zakaria ‘How to Restore the American Dream‘, Time Oct. 21, 2010
As Anand informed Smart has a niche market in USA with a fan group. As I researched, I found Smart as pretty good example of the way Americans can help in cutting down the energy cost because of its fuel efficiency, if they use it for short distance household tasks. However, it can be imposed on people. It requires a change in mindset for saving and reducing waste as defined by Japanese.
Shannon has promised to take me to Cary’s dealer for Smart that she has already located. She did also forward her research on it to me. As usual, I did also research and found even Smart Production Process. Here is some technical information on Smart.
The Smart runs on a 1.0-liter, 70-horsepower three-cylinder engine mated to a standard five-speed auto-manual transmission. Smart can have power steering too if required and it tops out at 90 mph. The fuel efficiency with 33 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway certainly means a lot of saving.
I do also see some Mini Cooper in US but Smart is more than three feet shorter than a MINI Cooper at 106.1 inches long. The inside of Smart interestingly is quite roomy with 45.3 cubic feet of passenger volume. Almost everything one wishes to put in the car is possible to be done, naturally with add-on price. But Smart unlike Nano or Mini Cooper is for two, a coupe.
In not too distant years because of the energy consideration or change of the mindsets of college going Americans or retired couples, Smart, Mini Cooper or even Nano if Tata Motors so wish, may become the second car in American household. But as on today, it appears to be difficult. It requires a lot of marketing and the government encouragement too. But Shannon is very skeptical about these mini cars for Emma or Zach. She will expect to have a lot of steel around them when they get a car one day.
America still remains the second largest car market. I shall always wish that Nano invades the American market with all the features that can delight the customers sooner before the Chinese do that.
One day we may be seen near Jordan Lake in Nano.