Thursday, December 14, 2006

1 lakh car

The dynamics of the 1 lakh car when it is launched, will be interesting. Whatever the level of sales, it wont be low. There will surely be takers for a 1 lakh car, whether that number is very high or not is the only question. (For the record, the Maruti 800 was the largest selling car until very recently when the Maruti Alto topped it with 5 lakh cars sold in 6 years).

Whether it beats that figure is for the long run. I would like the car to have, with its sales, a few cascading effects on the economy and country.

For one, I would like the 1 lakh car to displace the rickshaws out of the road, perhaps as taxis. The rickshaws are unsafe, inefficient, polluting and perhaps the biggest cause of urban congestion after small roads.

Two, I would like the sales (I am assuming it will be substantial) to spur governments to create better roads all over the country - much like more airlines are making the government think about better airports.

Three, there has always been doubts on why, we, in India pay a high amount for automobiles. Maybe the 1 lakh car will show the way for cheaper (and eventually alternate energy or super efficient vehicles). I am optimistic...


Rangachari said...

I agree with what you say about autos but they do have one advantage (or not depending on your view point): they are very much more manoverable than cars. While this does help on crowded streets, it also gives auto drivers a much greater ability to get into trouble!

Ramki said...

I don't think that these cars will displace autos from the Indian roads. (at least not in their first few years)This car is essentially meant for family purposes and will target the segment of bike buyers who might think about cars as they have just become affordable.
But, it will be interesting times for the Indian car makers, if the Tatas are indeed able to get the car out within (let's say) a lakh and a half on road price. It might end up creating a new segment altogether and will also open up new markets in rural areas.

Vinay said...

One of the car mags recently posted their impressions of what the car might look like. It looks to me that Tata's havent done any major design/ engineering innovations in this car, except for some that would count more as cost cutting. At that price, I personally expected a fundamentally different vehicle.

Tata's are a smart bunch now. Conservative yes, but smart. I hope they have another ace (pun unintended) up their sleeve. And yes, I'll sign any petition that works to move those polluting rickshaws off the road.

An afterthought. More cars = nightmare on every street in broad daylight. Now we need L&T to build low cost multilevel roadways.

Not holding my breath waiting for that to happen though