The media and the Tata Nano

What does the media have to say about the Indian small wonder, the Tata Nano, that will (its proponents believe) trigger off the automotive revolution of the 21st century?

Predictably all newspapers and television channels have made the 2,500 dollar or one lakh rupee plus taxes Tata Nano, unveiled at the 9th Auto Expo in New Delhi on January 10, 2008, the lead story. “Tata unveils world’s cheapest car” says The Hindu, and backs up its very positive reaction to the car with an editorial titled, “Ratan Tata’s Ace“. Other stories in The Hindu refer to environmentalists’ views from Greenpeace and Dr. R.K.Pachauri of The Energy Research Institute (Greenpeace concerns over carbon emissions and Strengthen pulic transport: Pachauri). The paper also has stories on the features of the vehicle (Nano, Cynosure of all eyes), and an infographic. One report talks about “Protests at Singur.”

The Hindu BusinessLine also leads, naturally, with the Nano story, headlined “World’s cheapest car is here” and the supporting headline, “Tatas rev up with Nano.” The BL editorial, “Inclusive Innovation” on the Nano hails it as a defining development in India’s automotive history, one that will bring smiles to the car-deprived proletariat. For those who want some background, there is this story on the history of the small car and on the Tata project “The making of the nano” and “How vendors geared up.”

The New Indian Express has a lead story in Chennai, with a dominant graphical presentation. “Tata unveils One Lakh People’s Car” it says. There is a comparison with several other entry level cars, such as the QQ3 from Chery Automobiles in China, the M800 from Maruti Suzuki, the Merrie Star Geely Auto of China, and the S-RV Mini SUV again from China (which, from the Express picture, actually looks like a Mercedes).

The Express has some interesting sidelights on the Tata Nano, including the fact that Ratan Tata drove the car to the presentation area, and his head seemed to be touching the roof. “Bad news for tall people” says the New Indian Express.

The Times of UK has a story with some atmosphere.

My own first take on the Nano is here.

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