Monday, March 23, 2009

Nano finally ignites its engines

After lots of hurdles and roadblocks both corporate and political the Tata Nano finally has pushed the fuel into the ignition cylinder. The world's cheapest car and one of modern India's engineering marvel will finally be seen on the roads. Had it not been for some insane politics the car popularly rechristened as the 'Lakhtakia' would have been five months old now. But as they say “better late than never”.

Tata Nano was the talk of the town during the 79th Geneva Motor Show. It attracted more people than the Bentleys, the Audis, the Rolls Royaces could. The giants had to bow in front of the cheapest car from a so called 'Third World Country.' Many automobile enthusiasts have compared it to Henry Ford's legendary Model T which had revolutionised America.

Tata Nano has to be hailed as the greatest engineering marvel to have come out of India since its independence. Coming from the most respected corporate house in India it is a perfect example of 'extreme engineering.' It may not surprise many that Tata Motors has filed in as many as 17 patents for the different components which had to be custom made for the Nano.

The concept was thought to be impossible by most automotive giants around the world. Many had raised doubts on the feasibility of the project. Corporates rivals even went on to ridicule the project saying the Tatas will add an extra wheel to an auto-rickshaw and call it a car. Tatas have silenced all of them and the same people who had ridiculed Ratan Tata and his men are working on their own version of the 'People's Car'. Bajaj Auto has even displayed its prototype in the Delhi Auto Expo.

If corporate rivalry was not enough there was some insane politics played out against the project under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee. Her prolonged agitation made sure Tata Nano had to exit Singur in West Bengal and find a new home in Sanand, Gujarat. The meant launch date had to be postponed by five months and Tata group incurred loses upto Rs. 1500 Crores.

In spite of the loses the Tatas stuck to their price of one lakh and once again proved why do Indians still swear by the name of Tata. In the end Ratan Tata and his men have stood against time and delivered what they had promised. March 23, 2009 will go down as a historic date not only in India's automotive history but in the automotive history of the world.


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