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.
Millions of words have been spoken and written about the Tata Nano. The much awaited Rs. 100,000 car. This was exhibited for the first time in the Auto Expo a few days ago. What about the team behind this achievement?
I am delighted that media and his organization have given due credit to 37 year old Girish Wagh and his team at Tata Motors. I am pleased that Tata Motors have given Girish Wagh the exposure to talk to the press and appear on many TV channels, because it was primarily his team’s efforts that led to the Tata Nano.
When he first joined Tata Motors 16 years ago, Girish Wagh had no idea he would one day head the company’s now-legendary Rs 1-lakh car project. Although he was part of the Indica vendor development team in 1997, Wagh was actually reluctant to get into full-scale product design with the Ace.
He remembers how Tata Motors MD Ravi Kant hand-picked him for the job and convinced him that it was as important as the work he was doing with the company’s excellence group. That was December 2000. The Ace rolled out in May 2005 and almost singlehandedly helped beat a recession in the commercial vehicle space. Impressed by his ability to deliver under tight deadlines, chairman Ratan Tata and Ravi Kant decided to move Wagh to the small car project in August that year.
Girish’s story is typical of many bright young Indians. Given the right environment and support they can turn in excellent performance. I am sure his example will be a motivating factor for many young engineers .
The much hyped Rs. 100,000 car is finally here. The Tata Nano was formally launched at the Auto Expo today by Mr. Ratan Tata, Chairman of the Tata Group. It is a big day for Tata Motors – for nowhere else in the world, is such a vehicle being launched at such a price point.
The car is smaller than a Maruti from Suzuki, but has 21 per cent more volume or space inside than the Maruti 800. The dealer price of the car will be Rs 1 lakh, ( Rs. 100000* plus value-added tax (VAT) plus transport charges. It is to Tata’s credit that they kept up to their word. As Mr. Tata said in his speech ” A promise is a promise”.
The car will have a 624-cc petrol engine generating 33 bhp of power. It will sport a 30-litre fuel tank and 4-speed manual gearshift. The car will come with air conditioning, but will have no power steering. It will have front disk and rear drum brakes. The company claims mileage of 23 km per litre.
The Nano is expected to be commercially launched in the second half of 2008.
I am sure this car will have tremendous demand in India when it is launched. It is akin to the first Maruti launch in 1983.
Have a look at the new site for the car: Tata Motors People’s car.