Nano: The Most Expensive Cheap Car

Tata Nano is like a fairy tale. It is introduced to market as the cheapest car on market and targeted to people in India to transform their transportation from motor cycle to Nano. However, things did not go as planned! Nano is preferred by rich people in India, as it is very cheap to own and run and the target is missed. Poor did not buy Nano but rich people bought the Nano, everything became upside down. Nano became the posh transportation accessory.

An entrepreneur in India understood this new situation and decided to make this posh car more posh! If rich people are buying to this car, they should get what really they need, gold. This gold version is created from 80kg of gold and 15kg of silver. With this new cover, the cheapest car became the most expensive cheap car with the price tag of $ 4.7 million.
I have only one concern, can this car sustain its performance with this extra 95kg of extra weight :)

Pictures’ Copyrights
Tata, GoldPlus

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Tata Nano

The 2008 is one of most unforgettable year in human history, global economy collapsed, unemployment became out of control, banks were close to be bankrupted! And Indian economy boosted. I studied economics in undergraduate and I do know that, this does not sound normal, in terms of economics! The whole world is collapsing and a country, which has an open economy is boosting. Unfortunately, I don’t know the global economy that well to discuss about the India’s condition in 2008 economic crisis. But I can talk about the Tata Nano.
Tata Nano was on the cover of newspapers in 2008, besides economic crisis news. Tata was trying to introduce the world’s cheapest car, which only costs 100,000 rupees (€ 1600). It sounds really crazy, you cannot even buy a proper laptop for this price and you will have a car with four doors, four wheels and an engine. Actually, Tata made it thanks to state of art engineering and working with the best supplier in automotive industry. They manage produce the world’s cheapest car but with a little bit more price due to raw materials. Honestly, I am not shocked with that. It was very obvious that, cheapest won’t be immune to raw material prices.
The shocking thing was the target group. This vehicle designed to be used by poor people in India, whom cannot afford to buy cars but using motorcycles. Unfortunately, things did not go as they planned. Rich people in India bought the Nano as the backup car, because it was extremely cheap to use. You don’t have to worry about anything, because it was so cheap. On the other hand, poor people still drive their motorcycle. When I first read this on newspaper, I did not believe and ask my Indian friends and they said the same thing, mainly rich people bought the Nano.
The main problem is the relativity. For rich people, Nano was extremely cheap, just slightly more expensive than their Apple MacBook Pro laptop. And it was a descent car to drive for daily. However, for poor people it was still expensive and a huge question mark. Firstly, it was not a motorcycle and more expensive to run than a motorcycle; this may not be true but a car always has this perception. Secondly, it was more expensive than a motorcycle; the gap may not be huge but for people who are living in a limited budget this gap can be a huge gap to overcome. Lastly, having a car means more maintenance cost; their owners cannot fix it in local workshop because it is under warranty and that’s a huge problem for them. Their motorcycle is very cheap to service and they don’t worry about that! But service of a new car is always a worry for people, regardless of their income. And when you consider the target group of Nano, that’s a really big decision and quite big risk.
I am sure that Nano will succeed in global markets, because it is really cheap and looks good. For that price, you can only buy a really bad looking Asus laptop! And Nano is much better than an Asus laptop :) I guess the global sales will make Tato really happy. Regardless of its sales performance, Tata Nano is placed its sales in automotive history. One hundred years later, it is going to be placed in technology museums as a ground-breaking vehicle for its time.

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Why British cars are so different?

Nowadays, when we talk about British cars, our brain reminds us something! There are no pure British cars are left, I mean the main brands. A quick flash back; Land Rover and Jaguar (Tata), Aston Martin (ProDrive and Kuwait Investment), Bentley (VW), Rolls Royce and Mini (BMW). So; when we see a British car, we will see something which is not British. However; this became normal in automotive industry, many brands are owned by some other brands. I don’t stick on that too much, as long as the brand’s heritage and spirit are alive, different companies can be their owners.
However; I cannot say British cars have very good reputation in reliability and offer competitive high technology. If we compare with German cars, there is a huge gap between them. Actually, there is a huge gap between German cars and whole world! The interesting thing with British brands is their spirit did not die, despite the adverse things happened to them. We still turn our heads and look at the new Jaguar XJ or we want to own a Range Rover or win lottery and experience exquisite time with a Rolls Royce Ghost. All these dreams are supplying blood to British brands. But how did this happen? Why don’t we feel the same excitement to a Mercedes S350CDi 4MATiC or to a Audi A6 2.8 Quattro or to a Toyota Avensis?
All those brands have something in common. The visibility factor; yes their quantity is too much to be exclusive. And this is the main obstacle, however Maybach is very rare but people don’t rush to it. This shows the importance of brand heritage. Italian cars have similar characteristics with British cars and they are very exclusive but they don’t bring the combination of different materials to create luxury interior, we don’t feel like we are inside a British palace. Porsche is a car to be loved but its product range is too wide for a dream. Nobody wants to dreams a cheaper car. And complicated engine range, you need to learn which engine is better than others.
I am not saying those are cars bad or inadequate to be exclusive. Those cars are more reliable, offers wide range of choice. You could live your dreams with sacrificing your future wealth. Drives very well, performance is great. Actually, most of the British cars are good for watching. Ferrari offers great technology, great sound. I would prefer Ferrari over an Aston Martin. Mercedes offers everything better than Jaguar. Porsche is the perfection. But we all look at an Aston Martin DBS, when we hear it is approaching to us. That’s something which cannot be described with words! Is it power? No, most of the Mercedes AMG models offer more power. Is it brand heritage, who can remember everything about that brand so quickly. Or is it the design? Ferrari has fantastic look also. British cars are showing our dreams in real life. If we want to buy one, other alternative might be offering a better car. However if we have chance, I am pretty sure that we would like to drive an Aston Martin or Bentley Azure for some time.
Pictures are from (In order);
Bentley Azure T (Website)
Aston Martin DBS (Website)
Jaguar XJ (Website)
Rolls Royce Ghost (Website)