The big show: An almost stampede-like situation as people try to get a glimpse of the Rs1 lakh car, the Tata Nano, which was launched at the New Delhi Auto Expo on Thursday.
It’s the automotive equivalent of a Rs10 plate of butter chicken—everyone can enjoy the good life. Design-wise it’s not really a car of the future, it’s a car of the present. It’s what everyone wants, but it’s not what’s good for everyone. It’s really what sells—the flash of chrome and the seductive curves—but I don’t think it’s a great design revolution. When the Tata Indica came out it was nice looking car; everyone was excited about it, but six months on the road, nobody noticed it. I’m sure the same thing will happen here.
It is heartening to see that the company has respected the design aspirations of the consumer who desires a car at this price. I like the branding as the sound of ‘Nano’ nicely mirrors the scale of the product. In one glimpse it is hard to tell how the company has managed to cut production costs.
Patrick Le Quement
Senior vice-president (corporate design) and member of management board, Renault SA
It (the Tata Rs1 lakh car) is a cute object. It’s difficult to hide the fact that it’s tall and narrow, but they have done a very reasonable job. There is a lot of space inside, and I was very impressed by the rear knee room (legroom). I think there is a lot of character in it as a design statement.
It’s very cute, actually. I like the yellow one. I like the fact that you can buy that thing which is so cute for that price. I’m amazed. The design part is so young. And the fact that it’s so cheap—it could have been such a basic design—but they managed to make it a great design. This could be any other car. And it costs one-third at least of the other cars. It’s so cute.
Contributed by Melissa Bell and Ammar Master