Saturday, February 28, 2009

Tata Nano

Tata Nano, originally uploaded by shannonpatrick17.

Tata Nano: The World’s Cheapest Car:
Tata Nano

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The Tata Nano is a city car — rear-engined, four-passenger car aimed primarily at the Indian market — first presented by India's Tata Motors at the 9th annual Auto Expo on January 10, 2008, at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, India.[4]

Tata targets the vehicle as the least expensive production car in the world[5] — aiming for a starting price of Rs.100,000 (approximately US$2,000).[6][7]. On February 26, 2009, Tata Motors announced that the commercial launch of Tata Nano will be on March 23, 2009.[8]

The news magazine Newsweek identifies the Nano as a part of a "new breed of 21st-century cars" that embody "a contrarian philosophy of smaller, lighter, cheaper" and portend a new era in inexpensive personal transportation — and potentially, "global gridlock" [9]. The Wall Street Journal confirms a global trend toward small cars, which includes the Nano.[10]

The prefix "nano-" derives from the Greek root 'nanos', meaning dwarf. "Nano" also means "small" in Gujarati, the native language of the Tata family,[11] founders of the Tata Group.

The introduction of the Nano received media attention due to its targeted low price. The car is expected to boost the Indian Economy, create entrepreneurial-opportunities across India[12][13], as well as expand the Indian car market by 65%[14]. The car was envisioned by, Ratan Tata, Chairman of the Tata Group and Tata Motors, who has described it as an eco-friendly "people's car". Nano has been greatly appreciated by many sources and the media for its low-cost[15][16] and eco-friendly initiatives which include using compressed-air as fuel[17] and an electric-version (E-Nano)[18][19]. Tata Group is expected to mass-manufacture the Nano, particularly the electric-version, and, besides selling them in India, to also export them worldwide[20][21][22].

The car was scheduled to release in "B" Segments cities first, followed by other cities.

Critics of the car have questioned its safety in India (where reportedly 90,000 people are killed in road-accidents every year[23]), and have also criticised the pollution that it would cause[24] (including criticism by Nobel Peace Prize-winning scientist, Rajendra Pachauri[25]). However, Tata Motors has promised that it would definitely release Nano's eco-friendly models alongside the gasoline-model[26][27].

Due to opposition to Tata's Singur car-factory by Mamta Banerjee, Tata Motors decided to cease operations in Singur on 2 October 2008 and started manufacturing Tata Nano at its Pantnagar plant. On her protests and the consequent pullout, the media heavily criticised her and The Telegraph even said[28]: "India is being raped by those who profess to be her soldiers, the guardians of peace." Financial Times reported[29]: "If ever there were a symbol of India’s ambitions to become a modern nation, it would surely be the Nano, the tiny car with the even tinier price-tag. A triumph of homegrown engineering, the $2,200 (€1,490, £1,186) Nano encapsulates the dream of millions of Indians groping for a shot at urban prosperity. That process has stalled...No big economy has prospered without undergoing a huge, often brutal, shift of labour from the countryside to cities and from farms to factories...There is a yawning gap with China. India’s information technology and service sector, no matter how dynamic, simply cannot absorb enough labour. To truly shine, India will need millions, perhaps tens of millions, more manufacturing jobs. Why has it not created them?"

Currently, Tata Motors is reportedly manufacturing Nano at its existing Pantnagar (Uttarakhand) plant and a mother plant has been proposed for Sanand Gujarat.[2]

. The company will bank on existing dealer network for Nano initially.[30] The new Nano Plant could have a capacity of 5,000,000 units, compared to 3,000,000 for Singur. Gujarat has also agreed to match all the incentives offered by West Bengal government.[31]

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