On the People’s Car and the $100 Laptop

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on January 10, 2008

If you follow the auto business, the place to be today is New Delhi, where Tata Motors has unveiled its long-awaited $2500 car, the Nano. No doubt the folks at Tata are enjoying their moment in the spotlight, and deservedly so. When Ratan Tata first started talking about the company’s plans to develop an ultra-cheap car, lots of people said there was no way Tata could do it. Today, of course, there’s a huge amount of buzz around the car and the many creative ways Tata engineers found to cut costs. And many other, more established automakers are rushing to come out with inexpensive cars of their own for the developing world.

The hoopla around the People’s Car sounds a bit like the buzz that surrounded another high-profile project to create an ultra-low-cost product for poor countries. That is Nicholas Negroponte’s One Laptop Per Child project, aka the $100 laptop. Like Tata, Negroponte met with lots of naysayers who argued that it would be impossible to reduce costs so dramatically. And like Tata, the OLPC team came out with an innovative product that was indeed far more affordable than what the industry’s big names had been offering. One big difference, though, is OLPC didn’t meet its price point: While Negroponte talked about a $100 machine, the OLPC laptop (called the XO) that started rolling off of Quanta Computer’s Shanghai factory lines late last year costs closer to $200. And while the XO has dazzled techies with its design, it hasn’t yet won many fans in the places that matter most, India, China and other parts of the developing world. (For more on OLPC’s woes, see this blog item from my BW colleague, Bruce Nussbaum.)

Will Tata’s low-cost car end up with the same sort of problems as Negroponte’s low-cost laptop? The Tata Group, remember, is one of the most successful conglomerates in India and Ratan Tata and his executives certainly know how to market things in the country. So they have a much greater chance of commercial success than the team of academics Negroponte has assembled at OLPC. But amid all the hoopla surrounding their one-lakh car, the Tata folks might want to think about OLPC and its low-cost laptop. Cool design only gets you so far.

Reader Comments

CC

January 10, 2008 11:56 AM

Clearly, the chairman of Tata is making bold and bogus claim, that TATA nano passes European emssion standards and is designed to pass international crash test standard.

Business week clearly pointed out that the car does not meet the standard emssion of Europe. http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/08_02/b4066033073739.htm?chan=innovation_auto+design_top+stories


The BBC clearly said what make Tata car so cheap, it is the bodywork is made up of plastic and partly metal sheets, no welding, only plastic and adhesive, no support beam to protect the driver and the passsengers in crash test, no airbags. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7181432.stm


So saying that this car can meet the criteria of European emission standards and pass crash test is just a bogus claim. (what happen to a plastic car when it runs into a deformable concrete block in a crash test ?)

nick

January 10, 2008 10:21 PM

What kind of innovations does Tata NANO boast of? Is it featured with state-of-art anti-lock brake, computer controlled power-train or ultra fuel efficiency? You take away every sophisticated feature that makes a modern vehicle; you get a primitive Tata NANO. There is a difference between true innovations that drive down the costs and the primitive strip-off for the sake of costs. The Tata NANO is more like efficient population control tool to me.

AV

January 11, 2008 4:48 AM

Either you guys are biased or just not literate.

BW did not say that the car doesn't meet Euro standards, it said that its not fitted with the equipment used in Europe and America. Same with the BBC - it doesn't say that the car does not pass Euro crash test standards.

In any case, these points are completely irrelevant as the car is not being sold in Europe. It certainly pollutes less and is safer than the 2-stroke engined bikes it will probably replace.

Innovation is not about inventing the next shiny gizmo. It's about solving problems. This car solves a mobility and affordibility problem.

S. PILLAY

January 11, 2008 4:49 AM

Will these cars be available in South Africa? If so, when?

sid

January 11, 2008 4:58 AM

People, it is easy for you to pass judgements. Think a bit about the risk taken by the Tatas in this venture and the effort put into producing the vehicle. I find some of the criticisms to be naive.

Mo

January 11, 2008 5:11 AM

CC, or whatever your name is, Tata is a multi-billonaire and owns Tetley, Corus Steel, among others. He need not make bogus claims.
Have BusinessWeek and BBC got access to the car or they have tested it to make these bogus claims ?

Nick, you need not worry we Indians are happy with primitive technology. Go live in your own world and don't bother to complain about a car which Tata has said he does not have any plans to send it outside India.

MD

January 11, 2008 6:14 AM

Tata has a made a car for conditions suited to India.
As far as the collision test claims are concerned the readers should understand that this car is not made in india and to driven in u.s or europe especially on your highways!!!
If at all they are to export to US or UK then based on your driving conditions they shall be altered.
As far as India is concerned it meets the reqirements of the current conditions.The speeds are not as high as in other countries.Its comfort and necessity and not speed which drives the market in india.
This car is for happy people and not for people who need gadgets to make them happy.

Sac

January 11, 2008 6:22 AM

Nick, instead of putting down the Nano, consider this - most modern cars in the West are over-engineered, power-everything, fuel-inefficient chunks of ego-driven 'lifestyle accessories'.

you have forgotten what the point of a car is in the first place - transportation. and that's what the nano offers: going back to the roots. the needs rather than the wants.

you can keep your alloy wheels and spoilers and power windows and 200bhp engines, thank you. not everyone in the world needs to compensate for a small penis. some just need to travel cheaply and reliably for convenience or leisure.

the indian government is useless at providing good public transport, at least this indian company hear its countrymen's cries.

Bart

January 11, 2008 6:22 AM

CC,

You speak rubbish from wrong and speculative sources and your post is more a reflection of you than on Tata.

The TATA car is NOT made of plastic. It is a steel car with crumple zones etc. It meets and exceeds Indian safety standards, and what he was that it can meet Euro standards if needed, by addition of airbags etc. The nano doest have Airbags, but neither do the cars sold in India by Honda, Toyota and other luminaries.

However, that is a moot point as it will NOT be sold in Europe. It is pretty safe for Indian roads as it competes with cars from Suzuki, GM etc that are in-turn stripped down and do not meet Euro standards anyway. Its also a lot safer than the bikes that it is targeted against.

As for emission standards again what you say is utter BS. It is certified for Euro 3 which is the standard in India and the company is on record stating that it meets Euro 4 as well. Which is way better than most western/Jap models in India.

In any case it is just stupid to compare a $2,500 care which is heck of a product for its price and perfect fit for its market, with a $20,000 car for the western market.

Bart

January 11, 2008 6:30 AM

Nick,

Try making a car, even a stripped down one for $2500. The likes of Toyota and VW have been attempting it for years without success. The king of small cars and the biggest manufacturer in India Suzuki has thrown in the towel with their India manager saying that it is not possible for them to do it.

Tata has 34 approved patents for the Nano and about 50 in process.

To address your other points:
-There is nothing very high-end about ABS, it can easily be added to the Nano but it is designed for the Indian market where ABS is not mandatory and if you really look at the Indian car scene, ABS is not standard on any models except the $40,000 luxury cars.
-It does have a computer controlled engine and power train management system and Tata and Bosch innovated significantly to ensure technology at a lower cost than one would expect with a traditional car.
-It is ultra fuel efficient, is 60 MPG not enough for you?

jinna

January 11, 2008 7:18 AM

I would like to buy one for short distance driving so my daughter (18) can go to school better than a scooter.

Sachin

January 11, 2008 7:22 AM

I honestly do not understand the caustic comments by readers here. The articles that "cc" has pointed out are written prior to TATA unveiling the Nano. If Ratan Tata said that the car meets all European emission and crash test norms, I am sure he wasn't fibbing - after all, he is the MD and CEO of one of the largest business conglomerates in Asia and is a man of his word. Naysayers abound in the West about the potential of Asians in innovation and research. But look inside your own universities and I bet that the most productive researchers and innovators are Asian. Asians have for long lived in poverty and could only dream of things that people in the West took for granted. But this imbalance has to even out. People in the West have been polluting the environment for long - all through their industrialization. Now if Asia wants to develop, why this hypocrisy? If the world is becoming an unsafe place due to pollution by Asians, is it not the case when Westerners do the same? And why grudge Asians their shot at development?

Jug

January 11, 2008 7:22 AM

The innovation in TATA Nano is bringing costs down to a level wherein selling it for USD 2500 is profitable. That, my friends, is 10 times as difficult than inventing new features with a generous budget on tap. Who do you think is more innovative (and pathbreaking), WalMart or Harrods?

asish

January 11, 2008 7:32 AM

I know the latest car feature.But how foolish who are comparing the indian car with the type of foreign cars.even some people dont know about indian car market.They dont know the price of other brand.How they can compare the features.So first gather all these data then one should comment.Certainly i am not an ambassador of tata but the thruth should be know instead of commenting and comparing with foreign cars.

C&C

January 11, 2008 9:40 AM

Tata Nano will be the new Volkswagen Beetle and the Fiat 500 of the developing world. Both these cars were icons of the post-WWII generation - both were cheap and cheerful, were basic and less safe than their contemporaries - yet both launched millions of previously poor people on the road of automotive self-sufficiency.
What most of the commentators and indeed journalists are completely missing is that the Nano is not meant for a rich market and will never be sold there - it will however sell (and massively) in places like India, Brazil, Mexico (where I come from), the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. The Nano is >100 times safer than a motorbike or a scooter - those are the kinds of vehicles the Nano's target audience is driving right now.
SUV driving, McMansion inhabiting fat Americans are not its target - indeed they might not even fit into one of these.
I want a car, a new car that I can drive around Mexico - not the bike that I am currently using. We had the old Beetle still manufactured and sold in Mexico till about 15 yrs ago - we need the new Nano.

Vijay Raman

January 11, 2008 9:58 AM

Dear Nick,

Thank you for your wonderful suggestions. One thing for sure..your tombstone isn't going to say much about your contribution to innovation. Ratan Tata's on the other hand is likely to say that he revolutionized and made possible for millions of my countrymen (and possibly yours ) and their families to move to a safer ride, from their present state of dangerous, polluting two wheelers. The vehicle also polluted less. It just so happens that he is also going to be producing the top end cars like Land Rover and Jaguar soon. I hope you can afford those. Happy riding.

Mukundan

January 11, 2008 10:38 AM

Dudes, you have got to be kidding me right. you guys like the ones who will want caviar in a dollar menu. look TATA is a business company not in the business of philantropy. comparing it to OLPC is itself stupid. Bruce has to write some crap with cynicism and in general put down Indians with a bit of self righteous mockery.
Nick, if you want to write something in this forum write some sensible stuff. its a cheap car for masses, what else do you need apart from anti-lock brakes. would radar cruise control make you happy in a $2500 car.

The car is for lower middle class people in India who want car ownership. If you lived in India you would know about waiting for buses and trains and travelling in them. this car definitely gives people in rural india the independance to move. i am sure this will be very successful in rural india. it might become a good urban car if it can deliver in terms of quality.

for the record TATA said the car meets Euro IV norms, atleast that is what the Times of india reports. TATA himself said this car is aimed at people who currently ride motorcycles, so its safer compared taht way not the safest automobile.

why let facts come in the way of mindless bashing and trying to mock someone.

Akhilesh

January 11, 2008 11:07 AM

You're missing the point.

You can't go more than 45kmph on Indian city roads. (And 80kmph on the highway).

At 30-45kmph, you really don't need seatbelts and anti-lock brakes that much.

And 50mpg is much, much more than anything on the roads in the US / UK.

This car will probably never do on the US roads - the design will have to be tweaked - and it will probably sell at $6000 or so. Still much better than Aveo or Yaris ($11k).

And believe it or not, it will be much safer than four people on a scooter.

Raj

January 11, 2008 11:22 AM

Look at it like this... It is much better than a 4 members family balancing on a two wheeler. (If you were in India you know what I mean)

manbearpig, Milwaukee, WI

January 11, 2008 11:51 AM

CC: You are missing the point. The Nano is not targeted at European or US or other developed nations markets at all. Definitely you will agree that this car is a lot safer than 5 people on a motor scooter? I am seeing this car having a good run in South Asia and Africa.
On a side note: Emission standards in India (Bharat III) are equivalent to the European Euro III standard. Europe has now moved to Euro IV. So this car has to meet Euro III to sell in India. A little tweak (and a few hundred $s) should be enough to be Euro IV compliant.

Sohini

January 11, 2008 11:56 AM

Sour grapes for some.

Abhi

January 11, 2008 2:31 PM

Sitting at UK or US you wouldn't realise how critical is price factor in India. What if it is a primitive car? What if it does not have state of the art antilock break and what if it does not meet Europian standards? What if it runs only at 80 kmph (Anyway average speed in Indian cities is 20 kmph)? It still is a "dream come true" for millions who cannot afford a "state of the art" car. It still enables a husband to avoid driving on a motocycle with his wife in the back and 2 kids in the front on a rainy day. It still provides means to millions who have dreamt of owning a car once in their lifetime. What kind of sickness is this - to critisize an innovation, to call it anti status symbol? What moral rights does an American or a British have to speak about environmental hazards when they own 2 cars per family?

Udai

January 11, 2008 2:47 PM

Guys, don't speculate like BusinessWeek did. Nobody knew anything about Nano until the auto show. Nano was built for Indian roads not even highways where avg speed is about 45-60 Km Pl.

And passing Euro 4 is not surprising as it uses a catalytic converter and and multi point injection and is a small engine. So obviously little pollution especially as it uses little petrol.

When it comes to the body, it uses mostly metal and plastic at bumpers at front and rear. In fact it also has crumple zones to help in collision. It uses a lot of welding but also glue. By the way jet planes also use glues extensively. In comparison to west airbags in not a big problem at all in India as the avg speeds are quite low.

Even if we strip down our cars we cant beat the double the price, and that's where the innovation is. I live in the UK and my car reach until 200mph, but I never drive more than 80-100mph. On that point, I really don't need the extra fuel in my engine and the subsequent co2. And then there's innovation that tries to reduce the 'wastage of fuel'. Our cars are too good. but its much more than what anyone needs.

I think its cute and good. Its the right product for the right market.

What about students, people wanting to replace their motorcycles, the taxis, etc, auto rickshaws in India.

If I am driving in UK I too would have the same concerns as you. But that Nano is for India guys..!!

intelligent1

January 11, 2008 2:56 PM

CC & Nick,
You both must be typical Americans. Can't digest anything good from another country. This car is designed as an alternative to a motorcycle. Nothing more. Listen to what Tata said. It meets the European emissions standards (which are better than the freking US standard). That's all it matters.

If you want a car to go and crash on a pile of concrete go get yourself a Tata Landrover... And if you want to drive fast get yourself a Tata Jaguar. You guys produce Ford and GM, the lowest quality cars even after 100 years. You talk about Tata. Wake up and smell the cofee.

pintya

January 11, 2008 3:05 PM

Nick and CC you have incomplete information. Tata has filed for 34 patents for this car development and its all metal body. Your mail shows typical US mentality to snigger at developing world.

Jayanta

January 11, 2008 4:01 PM

Comparing the Nano to the XO is completely inappropriate. The Nano is produced by the Tata group, which has a history of successful auto products (recent ones including the Indica and Indigo). The customer base for the Nano is clear, those who currently buy scooters. Their number in India itself is in tens of millions. The XO on the other hand is based on some notions about children that may or may not be true (though it may be politically incorrect to say so).

As for "innovations" that Nick complains about, the reduction in cost is itself a great innovation. What use ABS or computer controlled power-train if the customer cannot afford them???!!!

Gautam

January 11, 2008 5:20 PM

This is the dream car. There are horrible stories of Indian families in accidents on scooters and motor cycles where very young kids get thrown off and die.

This is answer to all those people.

Those criticizing the car should remove their BMW and Mercedes eye lenses and wear Scooter and Mobike lenses to see the marvel of this car.

Who wants to meet European emission standards as if that is the holy grail. It's an Indian car designed for Indian-like conditions and reflects maturity of Indian industry as not blindly copying foreign technology for Indian conditions.

Manoj

January 11, 2008 5:53 PM

When you think of 4 people travelling, a bike is a ruled out option. And that's where the Nano fits in. I dont care if it doesnt have ultra modern features... maybe 10-20% of Indian population has money to buy the most modern features and park 2 cars in their garage but most Indians still travel on two wheelers and this Nano is a big thing for them. I welcome the product and the effort to make a car available at such a price.

who cares

January 11, 2008 7:48 PM

Lets be realistic and accept the defeat. We Europeans crowded the streets with sophisticated cars which are utter nonsense when it comes to reliability compared to Japanese. In the other side its obscurely costly and unreachable for common man. Tata did something for people who aspires a 4 seater ppl mover. ALSO WE SHOULD REALISE THE FACT THAT WE COULDNT ACCEPT SOMEONE BEING VERY INNOVATIVE AND INTELLIGENT THAN US.

meenakshisundaram

January 11, 2008 8:04 PM

The introduction of Tata's Nano indicates the following:
1. It will satisfy the needs of Indians -big market is waiting to receive the goods
2. International level standards will be introduced in due course subject to trial and errors by which the price may go up. What is wrong in it quality and price will go in same direction.
3. Other car manufacturers who are selling cars in India have to think about it and have to reduce the prices.
4. In turn entire world has to look for cheaper cost cars for common man. That is a good sign.
5. Let us hope wisdom will prevail upon the critics.

Gate

January 11, 2008 8:19 PM

The articles you are referring to are out of date- do you think Tata knows more about his car, or the BBC? The idea of plastics and glue being used instead of steel was speculation. According to forbes.com the car is made with sheet steel, without any glue or plastics. And in response to Nick, the car is unique in the positioning of its engines and the design of its body to minimise on steel consumption and certain frills without affecting safety and comfort.

An Indian

January 11, 2008 9:48 PM

I have to agree with Nick. Tata Nano will never pass even the most basic safety and emission standards in the US or Europe. The only reason it will meet Indian standards is that it is very low and that too only on paper (never enforced).

Having lived there for almost two decades there and seen the quality of Indian products and research I can say that that car won't last even a year. You can buy used American cars (say 10 years old) for less than that and it will last at least 5 more years and meet all safety and emission standards.

I can understand though why Indians would want to feel special, considering that India has made no significant original advances in anything in the last 1000 years. Thankfully, I have left it all far behind.

manbearpig

January 11, 2008 10:58 PM

Bruce, The difference between the OLPC and the Nano, I think, is basically, market research. Tata knows exactly who will buy his car. Negroponte had a good idea who will buy the laptop, which turned out to be not so good an idea.
Nick, please stop searching for India-related blogs to post your cerebrally-challenged comments. You surely have better things to do?

Suresh Singh

January 11, 2008 11:04 PM

The remarkable thing about both these projects is not that they had a dearth of skeptics - its that they proved all of them wrong. As Theodore Roosevelt said, "It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat".

Suveer

January 11, 2008 11:09 PM

I suppose the BBC never lies, and Business Week could never get it wrong.

Who says the colonial era is dead. That mentality is alive and kicking.

But rather than get your facts from second hand sources, check the specs. and the facts.

Indian govt. regulations (that are in force today) require the car to meet Euro 3 standards now and Euro 4 standards by 2010.

Moroever, the car has already passed a full frontal crash test and is capable of passing other tests to meet European safety standards.

But of course, facts are no substitute for racist rumor-mongering and sledging.

But we Indians aren't complaining. Keep up that unscientific attitude and we know where that'll take Britain in the future.

Manju

January 12, 2008 5:38 AM

Tata Engineers have filed 37 plus patents in designing the Nano.

Nick, you are out of reality with the Indian (or any other developing country) for that matter. You do not need anti-lock brakes or computer controlled power-train for the snarling traffic. What you need is an efficient way for the family of 4 (or 5) to travel together. Nano would be lot safer than travelling on two wheeler (check the picture in http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/08_02/b4066033073739.htm?chan=innovation_auto+design_top+stories)

You can wear a $15 watch or $15,000 watch, both show you the time. It depends on the consumer on their preference and social status. For the average Indian family the Nano would fit the bill perfectly. And there are more "average Indian families" than the number of families in most of developed world.

You are not the target customer for this car, nor is it suited for US highways. But would perfectly work for most in developing countries and also in congested narrow lanes of many European countries.

sp

January 12, 2008 5:39 AM

Sour grapes!!!

Andrew Cohen

January 12, 2008 9:05 AM

Excellent! Hats off to TATA. They have made a car with all standard features for less than the price of a DVD player in a BMW. Its a great innovation that spurred 34 patents and admiration from all contemporary car manufacturers. So much so that most other car manufacturer's who have seen the car have said that they will be learning a lot from the TATA's innovation.

madmax

January 12, 2008 11:29 AM

I am a bit amazed by the vitriol in the comments above- they all sound like ... I bet your candy sucks because it is not what my dad gave me.
This car is for INDIA, dudes! IF you had studied even rudimentary economics you would think about the next best or the MARGINAL option. Right now, this car replaces unsafe scooters and motorcycles and is a lot safer and more convenient than them.
Also, give that Tata has come up with so many innovations, I believe that Tata will also figure out how to meet the European norms. Besides, they should probably not have the car's prices in $ anyway, given the falling dollar....In closing the UK does want India to come to them and have a manufacturing plant there and have sent their minister running to here.

Mae

January 12, 2008 12:52 PM

http://www.ixda.org/discuss.php?post=24467
- Murli Nagasundaram

Both projects were driven by high ideals. Ratan Tata is head of the probably the most ethical and socially conscious corporation in India; they are respected through the length and breadth of the country) . This was his pet project, his parting gift to the people of India and the developing world before he retired. Nicholas Negroponte has a very high profile in academia and industry, and the XO is clearly Negroponte's pet project.

Differences now emerge. The XO was created by a very talented group located in the most technologically advanced nation in the world for people living in the most underdeveloped nations. The Nano was created by a talented group of engineers located in nation with the largest population of poor people. The designners could observe the daily struggles of their 'clients' to and from work every day.

koshy

January 12, 2008 5:07 PM

Read Nick's opinion. he misses a big point. He does not realize the struggle a lot of families in India go through to go from point A to B. This is not a car for the affluent westener. For the male head of the family balancing his family of 4 (or more) on a 100cc bike this is a safer, more convenient option which just might be affordable. The biggest achievement of the TATAs have been in identfying this opportunity. Its competing against the two wheelers and offers better conveniences compared to it (that is the two wheelers which the poor in India buy, not filthly expensive ones seen by people like Nick in the west). there is a big market for this in the poor and developing world. The big corporations in the indistrial world missed seeing this opportunity.

HC

January 13, 2008 11:13 PM

Neither the Tata Nano nor the OLPC are technological innovations. But both have the potential to transform their target markets. Whether this potential will be realized is really hard to say.

joski

January 15, 2008 2:42 AM

Addressed to "An Indian": I have 2 cars, an Opel (GM) and Indigo (Tata). both are the same year of manufacture. The Opel is a gas guzzling, problem generating car. Its design is 80s. It spends most of its time at the garage being refitted with costly parts. The Indigo is a easy to maintain, low cost car definitely better looking than the Opel. My maintenance costs calculated over 3 years on the Indigo is about a third of the Opel.

The Opel brand is virtually non existent in India today. The other GM brands in India are struggling. So also with Ford. Wait why just in India? worldwide. Tata brands on the other hand are growing from strength to strength...pls check the Tata Motors website...

Maybe you are right about Indians not making significant advances in the last 1000 years...Discounting of course Sir CV Raman, Ramanujam, Amartya Sen, Gandhiji, Chandrasekar, Tagore, Pachuri, Taj Mahal, Reliance Petroleum, Infosys... All their contributions. Because you could always argue on some point.

Truth is we are proud of this little car. It means that because we were backward does not mean we will remain so. This is the first, we will follow it with others. We are equal to anybody and we will contribute to making life better for humankind.

Lastly, good thing you left India. Nobody likes a turncoat.

HC

January 15, 2008 1:57 PM

If the Tata Nano is an electric car or uses any form of alternative, green energy, it would be seen as a great achievement. The arctic ice is melting at a rapidly increasing rate. India, due to her geographic location, will be one of the most affected countries in by Global Warming. The Gange River, which supports the lives of some 1/2 billion Indian people, is gradually drying up because of Global Warming. I hope Mr. Tata will consider taking the next necessary step to develop a non-warming car before selling millions of these carbon-burning ones.

joski

January 16, 2008 11:54 PM

Hi HC. Global warming as the name suggests is the globe's doing and all of us need to find a solution for it. And given that Western auto companies have pioneered the auto industry they need to lead this initiative. If the Ganges dries up, Indians will be flooding foreign shores! The Mississippi will be the new Ganges! Global warming is indeed everybody's problem.

To expect Tata to take this matter reflects on:
1. Your belief that western auto companies cannot find a solution!
2. A mindset that's unwilling to give credit to 3rd world countries by changing reference points. (travel needs to solutions for global warming)

Friend what are you doing for global warming? Are you driving an electric car?

Rajesh

January 17, 2008 10:35 AM

To: "An Indian"
You left it all behind. So you got your education from India? No contribution from Indians, eh? I know 40% of all physicians in US are Indians and have graduated from Indian Medical schools. As for Indian standards, they are decided by the government authorities. US based automobile majors manufacture their cars in India conforming to Indian standards, not US or European. A GM spark will not be admitted in the US, but was among the largest selling cars this year in India. Concluding, to each his own. You are happy in US, I am happy here. I can come there, but I love it here.

HC

January 17, 2008 11:16 PM

40% of US physicians are Indian? Care to provide some sources for this claim? I did find some different numbers on the internet, and it sure isn't 40%.

ravi

January 21, 2008 8:00 PM

India is already a science and technology superpower and is on the way to economical superpower. Right now, Indian has already dominated American IT and medical industry as most American doctors and most top tier computer engineers/scientists are all Indians. Tata overtakes Landrover and Jaguar. GM and Fort could soon be next target. IBM could be owned by TCS soon. India will be #1 in 15 years.

Robert

January 22, 2008 2:39 PM

ROFL, Indians taking over GM and Ford, dominating America, taking over IBM. Only Indians have the guts to type this joke. Next joke please, I really like Indian joke, I like reading article about India written by journalists of Indian origin because it helps me release stress a lot due to excessive laughing.

Swapnil

January 24, 2008 7:04 PM

Wait & Watch, Robert, CC and Nick. This will not be joke after 10-15 years when every other major multinational will have Indian or Chinese owner. Already Tata is going to be owner of Jaguar and Landrover. Who knows, maybe GM is next! Glad that this relieves your stress... because we as Indians do not have any stress at all about our future. With economy growing at 10% (as opposed to American economy growing at 0%), we are in a good position to do what you think is a joke. Be prepared to be overpowered by Indian dedication, enthusiasm, determination and sheer desire to do our best at any place, any how!

ito

January 25, 2008 2:19 AM

Tata Nano vs. Toyota Pirus? What a mismatch! Japan is one of the most technologically sophisticated countries on earth. Japanese are also among most industrial and intelligent people. Meanwhile, India is still one of the most backwards, primitive and corruptive countries on earth. Indian living standards are below African average.

Robert

January 25, 2008 5:36 AM

"With economy growing at 10% (as opposed to American economy growing at 0%), we are in a good position to do what you think is a joke. Be prepared to be overpowered by Indian dedication, enthusiasm, determination and sheer desire to do our best at any place, any how!

Swapnil"

This is the biggest lie ever. The best your economy can do so far was 9% last time I check, and 2007's last quarter saw a drop in growth.

If the US grow at 0%, that mean this world will also be zero, no more call centers for you there.

Don't be too overhyped there, if anything happen to the US, both you and the Chinese will drown.

You're right, Ito, comparing India to Japan is just outright disgusting, biggest insult to to the world's most technologically advanced country. Can someone help me name some Indian technology, scientific achievements apart from those rockets with the majority of the population living worse than an average African. And yet still dream to be the world boss. How nauseating! Please don't fire me.

Sanjay

January 25, 2008 6:18 AM

Is that really so? Then why are the 'intelligent' Japanese trying to imitate India's educational system? Read this New York Times article http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/02/business/worldbusiness/02japan.html

Sanjay

January 25, 2008 6:21 AM

Robert, before ROFLing find out the names of the CEOs of the following American Companies: Pepsi, Adobe, Citibank. Now ROFL if you can.

JD1

January 25, 2008 1:11 PM

Hi Robert:

Market Capital of Ford = $14.5B (Yahoo finance)
Market Capital of GM = $14.79B (Yahoo finance)

Market Capital of Tata Group = $59.64 billion (http://www.tata.com/0_about_us/index.htm)


I don't think Tata has to wait ten years to acquire Ford or GM.

Robert

January 28, 2008 3:54 AM

"Is that really so? Then why are the 'intelligent' Japanese trying to imitate India's educational system? Read this New York Times article http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/02/business/worldbusiness/02japan.html "

Wait until that happens to the whole of Japan and then talk. As for now, only one or two schools run by Indians, and a few Japanese going there.

Robert

January 28, 2008 7:25 AM

We shall wait and see my Indian friend.

Siva

January 28, 2008 11:33 PM

@JD1: You are so right that Tata could easily buy out GM, Ford and Chrysler all together since Tata is so much higher in market value than GM, Ford and Chrysler combined. The real question is whether they are worthwhile purchasing considering how poor they are doing technologically and marketwise compared with the Japanese. IBM is already almost taken over by Indians with Indians account for over 50% of IBM engineers, scientists and executives. It is just a matter of time before IBM is totally owned Indian. The real target should be Boeing that we should really go after.

Anyway, it might not matter in 2020 when India becomes #1. @Robert: Better be nice with your future bosses and face it and get used to it!

ravi

February 17, 2008 4:44 PM

Robert & All Your American:

From the way you wrote in English, I can see you flanked your primary school diplomas. It could not be true you lost your job because of Indians because Indians in U.S. on average earn at least 5 times as much as you earn. Indian is the HIGHEST income ethnic group. Indians account for more than 50% American doctors, more than 60% NASA scientists, started up 40% American hi-tech companies including Sun, Bose and AMD and heads so much American companies like Adobe, Citibank, Pepsi … on and on. Intel and Microsoft could not survive without Indians.

Without contribution from Indians, it is impossible for U.S. to maintain as sole superpower and impossible to be the hi-tech boom. I have already waste too much of your time. It is the time for you to be back to flip the burger. It is already late for pizza delivery!

john

February 23, 2008 1:14 AM

Is India already a technology superpower? Am I smoking something or Indians are really that stupid? According to WIPO, India had applied for only 686 patents while South Korea applied for 7,000 and China for 5,456. How about U.S.? U.S. stands at 52,000. Does India set the bar so low so that India can claim a superpower status or India’s average intelligence is so low that it just does not get it?
http://www.business-standard.com/common/news_article.php?autono=314652&leftnm=3&subLeft=0&chkFlg=

samflutch

September 23, 2008 11:46 PM

The small hatchback, dubbed the “People’s Car”, is aimed at India’s 65million scooter riders currently unable to afford a car. Although the People’s Car will not be joining the other range of Tata cars available in South Africa, the Tata Group is involved in other investments in the country.
------------------------
Samflutch
place your ads

surendra

February 15, 2010 3:55 AM

as i read all the comments posted.,.,.
it is very great to read because i reading such type of good & diverse thinking 1st time on net
i belong to poor family the launching of TATA nano is giving me the dream to buy a car rather than buying a bike,so that i can drive to my whole family rather than only two members.so in this way it give the cost effectiveness yo me & because of it is low price i was be able to fulfill my dream very easily in very low time.,.,.,..,.,

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Bloomberg Businessweek’s team of Asia reporters brings you the latest insights on business, politics, technology and culture from some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies.

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