Meet the Tata Nano car, currently the cheapest car in the world:
The vehicle, called the Tata Nano, will sell for 100,000 rupees or $2,500 (£1,277) and enable those in developing countries to move to four wheels. [..]
Tata will initially make about 250,000 Nanos and expects eventual annual demand of one million cars.
Could you imagine that? One million new cars per year - as if the roads in India aren't choked up enough already! Predictably, critics said that making cars available to the poor will lead to environmental disasters:
Environmental critics have said that the car will lead to mounting air and pollution problems on India's already clogged roads.
But Tata said the car had passed emission standards and would average about 50 miles to the gallon, or five litres per hundred kilometres.
Specially Thanks for TATA which understand all middle class people thoughts and hope that TATA NANO will manufacture better model.
Thank you very much.
Tek Rawal / Nepal
The Rise of the Car Nazis:
Ratan and the Tata Wannabes
Chithra Karunakaran, Feb 09, 2008
Ratan Tata has made an illegal Left turn in a no-car zone. The Nano is a no-no. Bad for India, Bad for the developing world. bad for the poor.
If the Nano is manufactured this basically lets Government off the hook. They will not need to commit funds to mass transit in cities,towns and rural areas.
Can industry-hungry West Bengal help to rethink the Nano 'personal car' project and instead develop into a manufacturing hub for MASS PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION? Do we need more cars OR more and better public use transport -- buses, subway trains, rail? With the proposed launch of the Nano car, every central and local government in the developing world is off the hook -- they will no longer have to commit political will and infrastructure funds to provide public mass transit. A cheap car? Cheap for the environment?
The people of India and I am one of them, do NOT need a mis-named people's car. We need a People's Bus, A People's Mass Transit, a vastly expanded People's Railway, we need PUBLIC MASS TRANSPORTATION that is ecologically sustainable and delivers a public convenience that meets the needs of our underserved Indian URBAN AND RURAL masses and is the envy of, and a model for, the entire world. I proudly count myself among these masses, even though I teach in the US and live and work in India only about six months of the year.
Q.Why did Ratan Tata and the Tata Group choose to put their wholly admirable "frugal engineering" expertise into a private car and not into making buses and mass transportation vehicles? A.Corporate greed and personal ambition.
The Tata Group has decades of engineering knowhow in the heavy truck sector. Why didn't they build on this experience and come out with buses and other mass transport innovations? Again the answer is corporate greed and selfish personal ambition. Ratan Tata has absolutely no stake in the Greater Collective Good (GCG). Tata is all about profit. Tata is all about a narrow self-serving short term view in which he and Tata Group can make a quick buck and now unfortunately the India Govt. has awarded Ratan a Padma Vibhushan. That PV should have gone to Medha Patkar the Narmada Bachao Andolan actvism pioneer and she would have probably declined it. She would be right to do so. No point accepting a Padma Vibhushan from a Govt. that is committed to predatory capitalism against its own people.There are only a handful of folks like Patkar, Arundhati Roy, Anna Hazare, P. Sainath and a few others who cannot be bought and sold by corporate interests and criminalized politicians.
What many Indians (especially the avidly consuming, politically apathetic and ethically indefensible middle class in India) fail to appreciate is that a fabulous city like New York where I live about six months a year is heavily invested in mass public transportation. NYC has been heavily invested in mass transit for over half a century.
I don't own a car either in the U.S. or India. And I don't plan to own one, certainly not the Nano. I walk. It's smart not to be an obesity stat. I ride the buses and trains in India and I am proud to say that I adamantly refuse to ride in a car in India.
In New York, I do have a bicycle. Tens of thousands like me in New York ride our magnificent, er often tardy and continually underfunded subways of the NYC Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA). I can get all around town and all the outer boros and to JFK airport for $2 and then I am happy to pay another $5 to get me on the public mass transportation called the AirTrain right into the airport terminals. We ordinary folks (mainly the middleclass and the aspiring middleclass of New York City) fought long and hard at public hearings and through legislative lobbying, for the funding of mass transit in preference to car-choked highways -- and we got it. We didn't get everything we wanted but there's always a next time at a public hearing or a court testimony.That's participatory democracy.
Even our Billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg rides the subway everyday to work. It's a great feeling to get on a train that runs under New York and to know that we are contributing zero pollution to our wonderful city. That is precisely what we need in India. NOT crazy Ratan ("I have no watan") Tata and his no-no Nano.
Let's get real. India cannot afford to manufacture and dispose a paper cup, let alone produce yet another private car. We should not be following the U.S. model of predatory capitalism. The U.S. model of endless consumption is ecologically unsustainable. It is emphatically not the model for India.
Both the centre and the states in India must urgently invest in public mass transit which they have criminally neglected and disproportionately taxed.
The Nano represents a vivid test case for our civil society and the need for urgent development of a Critical Environmental Studies in schools and colleges to research such complex issues. I have presented the above ideas in India during conferences on Environmental Sustainability and will not rest until such proposals gain policy implementation.
The Gandhian post-revolutionary democratic Indian nation-state deserves a lofty vision, mission and policies that affirm the public trust. Public mass transportation that is ecologically sustainable is part of that noble public trust.
Note: in a subsequent blog I have cut and pasted all or nearly all of Tata's own comments ("From the Chairman's Desk") on the Nano.
Let the reader perform her/his own critical analysis of whether the Nano serves the Greater Collective Good (GCG).
Dr. Chithra KarunaKaran
City University of New York (CUNY)
This is an incredible breakthrough for a significant proportion of the population, which in the past has been denied to them by the self-interest of the commercial motor vehicle manufacturers. It is truly innovative, just in terms of cost, let alone anything else.
Well said...I agree...and they should have some fun with it...http://www.trickmytata.com