‘The Nano was not an ego trip’ | autos | Hindustan Times
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‘The Nano was not an ego trip’

Today is another milestone in what was started six years ago as a concept based purely on the emotional desire to provide an affordable and safer mode of transport to the families of India who are exposed to the elements….

autos Updated: Mar 24, 2009 01:32 IST

What Ratan Tata said at the launch

Today is another milestone in what was started six years ago as a concept based purely on the emotional desire to provide an affordable and safer mode of transport to the families of India who are exposed to the elements….

Where we are today is the public launch of the car that will be available in showrooms and available for bookings in the next few days. This constitutes the public offering of the vehicle. The car will be available in three variants: The base car as we had initially conceived, a version on air-conditioning, an option for power options and power windows.

I believe we are at the gates of offering a new mode of transport to the people of India…

The car that was to come out from the Singur plant before problems broke out will now come out from the Pantnagar plant. It is an interim provision. Then it will move into full gear and will be produced from our plant in Sanand in Gujarat…

On how it feels
We have moved from a sense of disbelief to a sense of achievement. I feel very excited… that we’ve gone over the last miles and put Plan B in action to bring out the car by March, if not December-January.

On pricing
We said in January in Delhi that we will keep our promise and keep the pricing at Rs 1 lakh. Subsequent to that, there was a tremendous rise in prices of raw materials. We took the view to again revise the price. But we had a committed pricing.
It is not a gimmick.

On Nano in the downturn
I am as confused and confounded by the crisis as anybody else. The current situation makes it attractive. Globally, we could be selling a million cars a year.

On Nano being an ego trip
Nano was not an ego trip... There was undue attention and controversy on it.

On Singur
We have warm feelings for Singur and that has not changed. In the latter half of this year, we’ll inaugurate a cancer hospital there. We haven’t decided what to do with the Singur plant. In the course of time, another manufacturing facility may come up at Singur…

On selling abroad
We had no plans to market this car beyond India, Africa and parts of Asia. But seeing the increase in demand, we feel it could be marketed in Eastern Europe We are presently trying to develop a car that will comply with safety standards of European countries where it could be launched.

On Ratan Tata and Nano
In our company, I am probably the most difficult critic as a car is produced. And I am enthused by the way Nano has come about.

On distribution
The car will be randomly allotted. More cars will go to rural India.

On an electric car
An electric Indica should happen during the later part of this year. An electric Nano will not be ready for three years.

On congestion and pollution
I cannot comment on congestion. But we emit less than 2-wheelers. We are emitting less than any other product.

On the next big dream
The honest answer is: I don’t have one to share at the present moment.