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Welcome TATA … Second Thoughts

January 10, 2008

“Let me assure you and our critics the car we have designed will meet all safety norms and all foreign environmental criteria,” Chairman Ratan Tata said.


Tata Motors has the guts to actually do what everyone has been talking about. Its about time. American Auto industry does not have the balls to seriously stick their neck out. The baby steps America‘s Auto industry takes is given a lot of press, but what they offer the public is so disappointing. America needs serious lifestyle retooling. Accustomed to bigger is better, to carry your family and all it’s toys in one gas guzzling vehicle is no longer viable. Automobiles are no longer a fashion statement!

If global manufacturers can figure out how to make small, cheap cars in India, they are expected to start exporting them to other fast-growing markets where the proportion of car ownership remains small — places like Southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East. … with a $3,000 list price, Tata could attract 300 million buyers in India by 2020. Currently, entire families commute on scooters.

Environmentalists and safety advocates are less enthusiastic. Anumita Roychowdhury, the associate director for the Center for Science and Environment in New Delhi, said the ultra-affordable vehicles would worsen India’s pollution and traffic congestion. Already, nearly 60 percent of India’s cities have pollution levels that are considered critical, she said.

Vehicles priced under 7,000 euros (about $9,870) will make up 13 percent of the world’s market by 2010, or 10 million cars a year.

Personal transportation should be just that; not an extension of your sexy image or your fat pocketbook. America‘s economy has evolved to the point that a car will no longer be a fashion statement but a transport tool. Not enough people recognize this. Being employed in today’s economy is statement enough. America will have to adjust to the global energy and environmental realities … these are the wars we find ourselves in right now. World economies will squeeze the last drop of fossil fuel out of the earth before it’s gone.

Arguments that India is jumping into the American 1950s profit motive mindset, and exacerbating an environmental crisis is certainly true. America has sold its ‘Democracy is profit motive’ dream to poverty riddled societies. Meeting personal needs creates profit. Exchanging the future for profit is the name of the game America has sold. Millions of struggling humans will be happy to have transportation at the price of imitating America’s mistakes.

Thomas L. Friedman: India is in danger from an Indian-made vehicle: a $2,500 passenger car, the world’s cheapest. India should leapfrog us, not copy us. Just as India went from no phones to 250 million cellphones — skipping costly land lines and ending up with, in many ways, a better and cheaper phone system than we have — it should try the same with mass transit.

The next energy sources will have to be renewable. There are many available to choose from, we could use them all. Because they are not fully developed and available to the ordinary citizen, they are costly right now.
Enterprise follows America’s ‘heyday’ of the 1950s and will reap the same consequences. After all, history repeats.

  1. January 12, 2008 5:41 pm

    Mbjesq, I like your site. Of course India is following in America’s footsteps and making the same mistake Americans made in the 1950s. America has sold the dream to envious nations. America did not address the consequences then, and if it profits US enterprise, it will allow those countries to hurt themselves so we can sell the technology to clean it up. America won’t offer a workable alternative until we are forced to. America is no longer a wise role model. Until America cleans up it own act, I can’t fault India. They are addressing consumer demand just like America.

  2. January 11, 2008 9:47 pm

    Thanks Mbjesq, better late than never … at least someone is stepping up and actually doing something people can afford. This is a step in the right direction. We’ve had alternative energy technology for a long time, but, keeping exclusive is pitiful. Squeeze every dime out of fossil fuel before its gone, then Voila! here is a great new alternative … get your tickets to the future while they’re hot … interesting that India gets the marketing coup before we do.

  3. January 11, 2008 5:06 pm

    The “people’s car” is a wonderful example of India’s mid-20st Century mindset and its squandered chance at 21st Century development. My short essay on this can be read at


  4. January 10, 2008 7:30 pm

    Not a fashion statement ,wow what a concept. I can see these cars being incrediably practical for so many people ! Not so practical for others. WE have this huge interstate system of course with speed limits anywhere for 55 – 80 miles per hr.WE have hummers and such on the road..huge cars that could smush a tiny car like this. Distances people drive that require great speed and power..All that being said..Mass transit on the interstate or working commute corridors could do so car parks, and on the bus you got etc. Since the advent of the car america always went for muscle and now the SUV idiocy. Sad that most who drive SUVs never drive a dirt road in their lives. A family van , well thats practical but being practical left the car scene long ago.

    Lets hope that these cars will in fact become a car of choice for any and all who can utilize them, practically and safely. Thanks for the post – It hadn’t even heard of this car. Its definitely got a niche in American Markets !!


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