If size matters, economy seems to be the new buzzword in the auto industry — ‘lite’ in size, and light on the pocket too. Ok, Tata started it all with its proposed Rs 1 lakh car (even if it now seems to be backtracking on the original billing amount). But now, from hamara Bajaj to unka Ford, automobile companies are fast overtaking each other in announcing big plans to introduce small cars on the Indian roads this year. Can’t see the Indian masses steering clear of such an attractive offer, and not least because desi heads tend to be held high and higher behind every new set of wheels they can claim ownership to.
It would be no small wonder if cellphones were soon to give way to these new cars to become the latest symbol of social mobility. Yet, such a mass appeal could well signal the need for thought on some serious traffic management. For, with car buyers on the rise, the space crunch will certainly not remain limited to small cars alone. After all, it would seem that road planners in Indian towns and cities seem to share the automobile industry’s latest motto, that small is beautiful.
It’s certain that we will not be putting a brake on the number of cars we’re determined to fit into our already choked roads. Unfortunately, the only thing this is guaranteed to do is drive us all up the wall.