Last weekend, I ended up having quite an interesting chat with an Indian player in my cricket team about the Tata Nano.
We’ve heard a lot about how it’s going to be revolutionise motoring as the world’s cheapest car, bringing affordable transport to thousands. But what was interesting to hear was a native’s perspective on one way this revolution could happen.
Tata received more than 200,000 applications for the initial batch of 100,000 Nano’s and the first delivery happened on Friday with Mr Ratan Tata himself handing over the keys to the first lucky ballot winner.
According to the Indian man I spoke to, a considerable amount of orders for the Tata Nano were from people who will use it as a taxi to start up their own business with.
This was quite an interesting point and one I certainly hadn’t thought of before. With its four seats and no-frills, hard-wearing interior, the Nano is just right to be used as a taxi and repairs and servicing costs are also likely to remain low on what is a relatively simple (albeit very clever) piece of engineering.
Despite it costing less than £2000, this is still quite a sum for many people so the chances to recoup some of that cost and use the Nano as an investment instead of a luxury item could make the initial outlay seem insignificant in the long run.
Of course it’s early days and this is only a theory, but it’s one that makes sense to me and with something as revolutionary as the Nano, it is always going to be memorable for more than one reason. The beauty of something as accessible as the Tata Nano is that everyone will find their own use for it and its show-stopping price will appeal just as much to people in the UK as it does to people in India.
Maybe one day, there may be more Tata Nanos on the road in India than there are Rickshaws, Tuk Tuks and scooters. It could even become as iconic in India as a taxi as yellow cabs are in New York and Hackney Carriages are in London.