India shining was the slogan during one of recent general elections of the country though the BJP creator of slogan loosed the polls because people were unable to see and visualize shining of India, but at present in true sense India is shining at least in the industrial sector with the introduction of “Lakhtakiya car” Naino.
Entire global industrial world is looking at Ratan Tata with the vision of being impressed with the talent, excellence and keeping the word of giving a car in just one lakh of Rupees. In fact the dream of small and budget car for the common Indians was the vision of Late Sajay Gandhi but it is unfortunate that we his dream realized in the form of Maruti, which was a small car and even being the cheapest in the market was out of the budget commodity for common Indians. It is fact that “Naino” is family car for small family, Tata succeeded in keeping the promise, Naino will cast around Rs. One Lakh thirty thousand including the road tax, insurance etc. but the question is that is the Naino is the dream car of Indian families? Will this fall in the affordability of common Indian?
This gives arise to yet another question how the common Indian is defined? If we wish to say that families living the multi story flats in the cities are the common citizens of the India surely our perception will be treated mismatched with the reality because still about 60-70 of Indian population is village population. The question is what are the criteria of affordability of car because car is not like the High definition consumer electronics or the Plasma television with one time expanses, one need to put the petrol for keeping the car in running and petrol rates are raising at regular interval of not more than of six months, beside that you need to drive your car to service station and pay for its smooth functioning, hence only the price of the car will not determine its affordability.
Now I wish to turn towards the income aspect of Indians the true measure of determining the affordability of a car, as for as I recall in the year 2005-2006 per capita income of India was a little bit higher than Rs. 3,000 this include income of big shots like the Ratan Tata and a village farm house labor, surely this is not meeting with the standards of affordability of car. If we work on the grounds of reality, surely only the families with a monthly income of Rs. 20,000 or more are in the position of meeting with the affordability of having a car. Look at the Indian pollution at the most 30-40 % population is with the monthly family income crossing Rs. 10,000/- and even if we go to extreme lines we will not consider more than half of this 30-40% population with a monthly income exceeding Rs. 20,000/- which means at present only 10-15% of Indian population is with the affordability of Naino and in these conditions we can’t say this is the car of common Indians even after being feature rich and with lowest market price.
Naino is surely going to impact the automobile sector and city life of the Indians to a great extend, in few years from now surely the three wheelers from the metro roads of the country are going to be replaced by the Naino, a price drop in the two wheeler segment, if the Naino, after starting a run on Indian roads from October 2008, meets with the same low expenses standard of price in aspect of maintenance, most of the major cities will under go traffic problems generated from the issue of car parking and surprisingly a boost of business for the finance companies dealing in the sector of automobile loans. One thing is sure petrol consumption will increasing and a price hike of life essentials will become unavoidable making the life struggle of common Indian more stiff and more painful.