Friday, October 28, 2005

Tatas to make a million mini cars

After announcing that its mini car would be priced at Rs 100,000, Tata Motors today said there was potential to ramp up the much-talked-about car’s production to one million units in the next four-five years. This indicates that there will be no shortage of the car, dubbed as group Chairman Ratan Tata’s dream project. The mini car is expected to be launched in 2008. Tata Motors would set up a number of assembly units across the country with a centralised engine production facility to achieve the targeted capacity.

This car has been eagerly awaited for quite some time now. In a market where the cost of the two-wheeler is touching 60 grand, there is no limit to which it would be mass-accepted as a bread-and-butter model to do routine tasks around the corner. Sure, you wouldn't want to go cross-country in it, but look at the advantages. First and formeost, in this era of global warming and shortage of fossil fuels, this car will guzzle far less fuel than your average four-wheeler. Then it would provide the advantages of a 4-wheeler over a 2-wheeler at marginal extra costs. Imagine the number of people who, unable as they are to buy a car at current rates, would happily go for this one and bring about the second major revolution in the Indian automobile space. The first, as we know, was Maruti.

Ratan Tata had this to say about the project, in an interview with Mckinsey:

It is propelled by the opportunity, but there is also a social or dreamy side to it. Today in India, you often see four people on a scooter: a man driving, his little kid in front and his wife on the back holding a baby between them. It's a dangerous form of transportation, and it leads to accidents and hospitalizations and deaths. If we can make something available on four wheels--all-weather and safe--then I think we will have done something for that mass of young Indians.

No comments: