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Test Driving the Tata Nano (wheels.blogs.nytimes.com)
34 points by robg on Mar 26, 2009 | hide | past | web | favorite | 12 comments

people in those comments are missing the point of the car, they are comparing this thing to other cars, instead they should compare it to the motorcycles that populate India's roadways.

Is it safer than a civic? Obviously not. But its leaps and bounds safer, than having a family with kids riding around on a motorcycle

Yes, if these become affordable in countries such as the Philippines (where emissions choke the air and it's not uncommon to see 3+ people sharing a motorbike or trike), I can imagine it would improve quality of life to a noticeable degree.

Could you elaborate on how moving from (motor)bikes into cars would improve quality of life (if air quality is a component of that) ? Don't cars emit more exhaust gas?

A lot of the motorbikes used in countries like India and the Philippines are two-stroke engines, which pollute far more than the more modern four-stroke engine used in the Nano and most other cars and newer motorcycles.

Ok, this makes sense. However, one also needs to factor in the pollution/ energy-usage in manufacturing a new car to the total product lifetime cost.

For those interested in a peek at the Nano this is an interesting set of photos:


Woohooo...great review. These cars are now built at a factory near my hometown (Ahmedabad). Believe it or not, that's one of the main things keeping the real estate prices there up when they are plummeting across the rest of the country (and the world).

your claim about real estate prices is surely in jest.

WTF, why am I getting moderated down?

To be clear: I was referring to the "fact" that real estate prices are not being affected in Ahmedabad due to a car plant being built in a location about 50km away from the city. That is simply not true -- my parents are in the market to sell their house in Ahmedabad, and the price is nowhere close to what they would have gotten a year ago.

The fact that the Gujarat govt. managed to convince Tata to bring the Nano plant to Gujarat is just the most noticeable example of how, for all the chief minister's flaws, he has done well at attracting commerce to the state. And that is what has kept the prices there up (relatively speaking).

The city infrastructure development [3] has been happening at an incredible pace (for India anyway). This (along with Ahmedabad's property prices being low compared to Bangalore or Mumbai) has attracted a bunch of companies to move there. For example just last week Vodafone moved their service hub to Ahmedabad and relocated 1500 employees there [2].

In the area near the nano plant (which is less than 15 KMs from the posh residential areas in West Ahmedabad like Satellite Rd) prices have definitely gone up very very substantially [1] because of the plant itself and how quickly builders have latched onto the opportunity to develop the area: for e.g. the Gulmohar greens golf club is coming up pretty close to the place and Goyal just launched another development there. I know because my parents have owned land in that area for almost 10 years that was worth almost nothing and is now suddenly worth a lot!

Within Ahmedabad proper, in the western areas prices haven't gone down anywhere close to they have in Bangalore, for example and in some cases have gone up. I don't know what kind of house your parents are looking to sell or where (the eastern end - the old city is not very attractive to outsiders who move to the city). Also, an incredible amount of new/modern construction has happened in the past few years.

Also, FWIW, I did not mod you down.

1: http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN2008...

2: http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/ahmedabad-set-to...

3: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmedabad_BRTS

Edit: FWIW here's an article about a builder that cut prices by 30% (and 40% of his houses got booked on the first day). Note though that his project is in Paldi which is still central Ahd. http://www.moneycontrol.com/india/news/business/ganesh-housi...

is it just me or did any of you feel that the reporting on this a bit mediocre ... seriously ... did you ?!

Yeah, I did. For a car review, I was expecting, obviously unrealistically, a review of a car.

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