Nothing is better than creating massive amounts of hype over cheap automobiles. The new car in India is just that and the memes are spreading globally. Who doesn't like the idea of a cheap affordable car?
I think we are at the gates of offering a new form of transport to the people of India and later, I hope, other markets elsewhere in the world," he said, describing the launch as a "milestone."
"The present economic situation makes it somewhat... more attractive to the buying public," he told reporters in Mumbai ahead of a glitzy official unveiling ceremony at 7:30 pm (1400 GMT).
Potential owners of the car -- which is just over three metres (10 feet) long and has a top speed of 105 kilometres (65 miles) per hour -- can apply between April 9 and 25, Tata managing director Ravi Kant said.
A ballot will then select 100,000 people to be the first to get the keys to the vehicle and deliveries will start in early July 2009, he added.
The rest of the world doesn't have to worry, they plan on making versions for us too:
Tata is hoping the Nano will also be a hit overseas in the long term.
Earlier this month, the firm unveiled a European Nano sporting airbags and leather trim that will hit the market by 2011 but be costlier than in India due to the extra features.A US version is also on the drawing board but requires redesigning to meet American safety standards.
It is frightening that when we should not only be thinking about more energy efficient vehicles which should be costing more, we are still crazed about cheap cars. Yes, we have had our cake and eaten it, but shouldn't we in a peer to peer way helping developing countries understand that it is so much more than a car. Your land use planning and the way of life will change forever as more and more cars get introduced into countries that have not been dominated by them.
I believe the US has finally realized what a problem private car ownership is, and we are slowly taking small baby steps to fix that. At our current rate it will take another 100 years for us to realize we don't need cheap cars, instead we need affordable public transit that works for everyone.
It's a win/win situation in my mind. On one hand, in the US, this is a small car and will thus be safer for vulnerable road users. The other hand is that increasing car ownership by the amount this will do will accelerate peak oil and drive gas prices up. Which is a good thing.
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