11-Jan-2008

The Nano & Congestion

And Ratan Tata's take on it:
We produce about 7 million two-wheelers a year. Today we must have 60-70 million two-and three-wheelers in the country. Last year we produced about 1.4 million cars and at some point we will exceed two million. Well, nobody says anything about that. It is only this car that is being targeted. You may say, 'Well, the two-wheeler takes less space.' Our car pollutes, if not less, then certainly not more than a two wheeler—not per passenger but as a vehicle. Our engine conforms to Euro IV and Bharat III—all two wheelers are Bharat II today. So, yes you may take a view that this small car will take less space than a large car. It will carry four people instead of the normal two on a scooter and therefore, instead of two scooters, you will have one car on the road.

That criticism also assumes that the small car will not replace a bigger car. You produce two million cars and you produce half a million small cars, so you produce 2.5 million cars. That's not how it is going to work. We will cannibalise some of the existing low-end cars and two-wheelers, and even some of our own cars. The Indica too is going to feel the effects. So it will not be that it will be on top of everything and there won't be a square inch of space on the road.

Second, we are looking at congestion in the top major cities. Have we got affordable family transport in the two tier and three tier cities? Is it their lot not to have a vehicle? The huge potential lies when India gets connected in the rural areas.
Let's wait and watch!

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