Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tata makes cars that cost under $2500

A New Set of Wheels - Sepia Mutiny

I happened to read this interesting article on Sepia Mutiny. Cars are becoming cheaper and cheaper. This article on Thatskannada gives some interesting information about JRD Tata, and how he wanted everybody to be able to own cars (please look at the end of the article).

However, coming back to this piece, one line caught my attention:

"Forbes quotes consultants at Roland Berger as estimating that it would
cost as much as $4,000 on top of Tata’s $2,500 price to engineer the
car to meet U.S. safety and emission regulations, transport, pay
tariffs, market it, pay lawyers and other warranties"

What *is* this! If it is for the US, cars need to be engineered to meet U.S safety and emission regulations! I have absolutely no problem with that, but should we not think about safety and cleaner technology ourselves? Just travel for half an hour in any of Bangalore's roads, and you will not want to travel anywhere, ever again. For the millions of hapless commuters, vehicle emission has become regular breakfast and snack.

And it is not totally the Government's fault. Suppose they pass more stringent emission-regulation laws, the public will somehow get around the "problem" by bribing the authorities and getting an emission certificate. Auto drivers and BMTC drivers will go on strike. Some buses will be burnt and the law will be repealed. There, that's the end of all reformation.

I am wondering if we can do anything other than complain...

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