Skip to comments.(Vanity) Bodacious Tatas, or, India Steps on the Gas
Posted on 03/25/2009 4:57:43 AM PDT by grey_whiskers
India has made a big splash over the last few days with the announcement by Tata Motors of its new mini-car, the Tata. Even though the car's release was originally scheduled for last year, everyone is still very excited. Finally, an affordable ($2,000 US) car for the masses! (A $60 down payment is all it takes, I have heard.)
There are a number of implications of this situation, and reactions from different sides. Let's take a look at a few of them.
First, there is the collective *gasp* from the "peak oil" crowd, followed by hysterical Oh Noes. One Australian source claims that the number of cars worldwide could double once India and China achieve the same number of vehicles per capita as Europe and the United States. Other sources, such as Newsweek, claim that there will only be some 14 million new Tatas on the roads, and wonder about the Greenhouse Gas emissions.
So much for the view of the enlightened west, looking out for the "impoverished indigenous peoples oppressed by the capitalist racist sexist homophobic and in all likelihood Christian west" (IIPOBTCRSHAIALCW). What is the view from India?
First, this represents an enormous step forward for India, in terms of international prestige, despite the name of the car -- "The Nano". India has been "climbing the ladder" economically for years, most notably in call centers and IT staffing, but also as a back-office of manufacturing (remember the disastrous chemical leak in Bhopal some years ago?). They have been working on creating subassemblies for other manufacturers (door handles, that kind of thing), so the creation of a complete car is a great leap forward.
Speaking of a great leap forward, one group who is likely to be less than pleased with this is the Chicoms. There has been a rivalry between China and India of late -- more than over population and disputed borders in the Himalayas. (I know high terrain is an advantage in military affairs, but geez, isn't fighting over the Himalayas overkill?) China has for the most part taken the lead in manufacturing and textiles, and India, due to the legacy of British colonialism, and familiarity with written English, in back-office offshoring and computer programming. But with the development of an automobile, India is competing with China's nascent auto industry. Given China's safety record, I'd be worried too.(*)
Finally, it's good for India that this is happening; but in a global recession, it's a double-edged sword. First, how many Indians will be able to afford this car, even at its price, when international trade is down and India's economy is dropping? Second, this is an *indigenous* industry, not merely wage arbitrage by Western multinationals. Cottage industries will have to spring up, for roads, service, petrol, distribution. This is the way to sustainable organic growth for India.
And yet -- so much remains to be done. India is crowded, and poor, and many roads are substandard. And with the advent of autmobiles, there is the prospect of...automobile accidents. The Tata has no airbag.
Which brings up a point I haven't heard yet, and ties together the concerns of the East and West nicely. There is another cottage industry which tends to follow in the wake of automobiles and auto accidents.
And with layoffs at US law firms at an all time high, is there any chance we could offshore some of them?
Now THAT would be truly bodacious!
(Two comments on this. First, why "written English"? Try calling "Bobby" at the tech support number for any computer manufacturer and you'll find out why I don't list spoken English as one of India's strengths. Second, while China does have an auto industry, given the problems with intellectual property theft, and reputation for substandard materials, as in the food industry, I think China is fooling itself to think that it will gain a significant foothold in the United States. See this video for crash test results on a Chinese sedan. In some versions, you can hear the engineers laughing at the car near the end.)
Highly misleading headline.
This thread is totally useless without pics.
..organ donor cars
And, before you ask, I did NOT spend all my time on the extraneous hits such a phrase in Google was bound to produce.
I just got tired of clicking "next page...next page...next page..."
What a difference one little word makes!
At that price, they should be sold in pairs.
But then, I've always been a leg man.
They’re all plastic and glue anyway. Perfect fit for Hollywood.
LOL, so are many aircrafts flying in the air today. Google 'composite tail section'.
What is this, an episode of Nip / Tuck??
Well, I am not clicking on those links, but I can imagine the pictures on the first one. Reminds me of a time I was in line at a checkout counter at the grocery store, and this very well endowed lady got in line behind me. Her tee shirt had:
Of course, I had my face very close to them trying to read the small print.
Had missed this earlier. India has put the largest satellite constellation into space, in all of Asia, not to mention the lunar probe searching for He-3 fuel on the moon, just three months ago.
It's not the car itself that is special; rather, the way they managed to make the car, what it costs. That was the hardest part. 2000 dollars is too low for what the car actually is.
“Implants! Those aren’t your memories. They’re Tyrell’s nieces’.”
It's exactly the kind of car I'd love to have for all the little errands I run around town every day, but I'm not sure how it would hold up to a Michigan winter. What I like best about it is that it wouldn't take up any garage space. When not in use I could just bung it in my purse.
I could put one in the back of my van ... sort of like an RV towing a Civic!
I stand corrected, but I'm not going to re-write a vanity.
It's called "vanity" for a reason, darn it.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.