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The headlines said it all. The Tatas had delivered on their promise. India’s car for the future, the Tata Nano had been announced earlier creating a huge swell of expectations in Indian industry. Yesterday, at a major launch event in Mumbai, Ratan Tata, Chairman of the Tata Group announced that bookings were being thrown open for the car which could well change the lives of millions of people.

At the launch, the 71 year old Tata said the car would cost Rs. 100000 as promised. To the end customer the price would come to around Rs. 130000 after all the other taxes and levies. This price is confirmed for the first  100,000 customers – to be drawn by lots. The car will be released to the market in 2010 and is expected to be available to the Indian consumer in 3 variants, including an aircon version.

The company claims the car is strong on fuel efficiency- to deliver 23.6 km to the litre with a top speed of 105 km. With there likely to be a mad rush for bookings- the like of which perhaps has never been seen before- one wonders what will happen to the traffic problems already being faced by us in our Metro cities.

To give this perspective, Crisil projects that another 14 million families in India will become target consumers for the Nano based on its pricing. God help our commuters. The beneficiaries undobtedly would be an entirely new segment of car owners- and, of course, the Tatas.