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Nothing Nano about the buzz around it

autos Updated: Apr 03, 2009 02:32 IST
Tasneem Nashrulla
Tasneem Nashrulla
Hindustan Times
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Pooja Khandelwal (21) accompanied by her mother and two siblings went to Infinity Mall in Andheri to buy clothes and cosmetics on Thursday. They ended up shopping for a car.

The Khandelwals belonged to the throng of visitors gathered at the Westside store to get a look and feel of the world’s first Rs 1-lakh car — the Nano.

The car, which is on display at the store till April 25, attracted onlookers and prospective buyers who examined it in detail, from its rear engine to its horn. A store official, who did not wish to be named, said that the walk-in customers had doubled from the previous day. He estimated 75 booking forms were sold in the first four hours that the car was showcased.

A gaggle of college students took turns to sit inside the car. Brijal Gaglani (19) was impressed by the Nano’s legroom but lamented the lack of an ashtray.

Business executive Abhishek Anand (27) had no complaints. “It is small, beautiful and spacious,” he said. Anand, who left work mid-way to see the Nano, immediately bought the Rs 300 registration form. “I’ve finally found a small car where my 5 ft 11 inch frame can fit without brushing against the roof,” he said. “I am very eager to buy the Nano.”

An official explaining the car’s features to customers said many senior citizens had expressed a keen desire to buy the Nano.

As if on cue, an elderly gentleman asked him about the security features of the car while a grandmother enquired about the available colours.

Captain D N Banerjee and Captain Kondal, colleagues in the merchant navy, who rushed from their office to buy the booking forms, couldn’t stop raving about the Nano.

The Nano will be Kondal’s third car, and he wants to buy it for his wife. “It’s not cramped and the visibility is superb. It’s perfect for city roads,” he said. “Hats off to Ratan Tata,” said Banerjee who plans to gift the Nano to his daughter.

The Khandelwals, who liked the slick and roomy interiors of the car, also bought their registration form. “We are a tall family of five and we all fit perfectly in the Nano. But the car is only for the girls of the family,” Pooja said with a smile.