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Old 4th January 2008, 20:44   #1
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Thumbs down Myopic western world still has some ludicrous stereotypes for a country like India

Ok... So Tatas are on the verge of launching their lakhtakiya (1 lakh car). Thats old news, as is the fact that Nissan also intends to join the party in collaboration with Bajaj.

However, that is beyond point here. The subject matter of this thread is how some western world critics and armchair analysts have got some time-warped notions about India as a country and its laws, practices and people in general.

Today I dug out an article in Bloomberg.com that has now also been replicated by the Auto Expo site under its Auto News section. Not a very sane choice I would say. But nonetheless you can read the article from the URL Japan's Falling Car Market Has Nissan Eyeing India: Doron Levin.

Some great pseudo-quotes from this article are

"One can only imagine how slow, small, flimsy (and lacking in pollution controls) this new car could be compared with those Nissan sells in Japan, North America and Europe."

This is in relation to Nissan's plans to try and build something similar to Tata's 1lac car. The implication being you can dump anything in a 3rd world country as there are no safety rules, regulations and environmental laws.

"A car selling for $2,500, if at all feasible, can't be particularly profitable for its manufacturer."

There goes the armchair analyst. Every dyed-in-the-wool manufacturer is a fool when this author can tell from miles that they are out to commit harakiri.

"Developing societies such as India correctly regard the ability to manufacture their own cars as a credential for membership in the industrialized world."

There goes the stiff upper lip. Talk of having an inflated sense of megalomania!

"With only about 17 vehicles per 1,000 people, India is not yet close to becoming industrialized."

Aaha! Now how many of us were aware of this direct parameter to gauge the state of industrialization of a country? I guess the bloomberg author is the kind who come to India with notion of seeing snakes crawling on the roads and snake charmers running after them or to see a rope-trick being performed at every chowraha. Or even elephants ambling on every street.

"A $2,500 car likely will attract Indian consumers who never dreamed of driving and inspire them to start saving for $10,000 and $20,000 models."

Now check this one out! Someone please tell this buffoon that every hatchback that swarms this country across its length and breadth costs more than $10000, and thats American Greenbacks we are talking about...


And now imagine... The Auto Expo guys were such nutcases they thought of putting this news item up as a showcase to India's automotive prowess.
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Old 4th January 2008, 21:30   #2
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May be a bit off-topic.

But this kind of criticism is not new to TATA's. Tata are known for their moderate and humble attitude. There was one article in Times of India (Swaminomics) that compared Tata and Mittal. It was regarding acquisition of Corus and Arcelor. It talked about how boldly Mittal's launched the Arcelor bid and how humble Tata's were with the Corus deal and their latest attempt to strike partnership with Orient Hotels.

I have no doubt that Tata would have definitely thought of all the criticism that is appearing now. Those guys are working on this vision from last 4 to 5 years I guess. And I believe when one passionately works on his vision, they create success stories most of the times.

Let's wait and watch who has the last laugh.
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Old 4th January 2008, 21:38   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zappo View Post
However, that is beyond point here. The subject matter of this thread is how some western world critics and armchair analysts have got some time-warped notions about India as a country and its laws, practices and people in general.
.
.
.
A $2,500 car likely will attract Indian consumers who never dreamed of driving and inspire them to start saving for $10,000 and $20,000 models."

.
I still cant believe they've decided to put up that article on their site.
when you were mentioning about the 17 cars per 1000,how on earth can the author relate modernisation or industrialisation to number of cars per capita.

I think this a nice write up. It opens our eyes to what people are still thinking about India on the Global scene.I was particularly irritated reading the part where he says that India(and developing countries like ours)consider manufacturing cars as a ticket into the industrialised world

(a little off topic)quite a movies , when they depict scenes in India, they choose the worst possible locations with cows taking most of the roads,bullock-carts,people taking their animals in taxis and stuff like that.
Hence i think thats the impression a fair number of people have about India.(the Bloomberg author probably got his ideas from watching these kind of movies)

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Old 4th January 2008, 21:47   #4
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this makes my blood boil! how dare they! looking forward to the day when all these goras come here to find work. I'll have my revenge then.Its not far away.
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Old 4th January 2008, 21:51   #5
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Hmmm.... That article does seem to deserve the kind of interpretation you are placing on it.

But I think the core message is this "they (India) are poised for a growth in the auto industry, and the 1L car is going to create a new market and will create potential buyers who will ultimately upgrade from the 1 L car; and Nissan is/can/should be looking at the latter market.
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Old 4th January 2008, 21:58   #6
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Whatever may be the core message, the way the article is written shows how uneducated the author is about India.
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Old 4th January 2008, 22:07   #7
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I am waiting for the day when TATA will export this 1L car to the western world.

Rajan
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Old 4th January 2008, 22:12   #8
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I am not surprised. However much of this image has had a lot of contributions from people who were once (not very far away in the past) Indian in their origin. For many of them, we Indians are "they".
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Old 4th January 2008, 22:43   #9
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I remember some negative reviews of this type when Tata exported the Rover-Indica model in the UK. Somehow the goras still cannot digest the fact that Indians can be pioneers in the Automobile field. Very narrow minded indeed.
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Old 4th January 2008, 23:01   #10
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It reminds of the Brit guy who promised to eat the first pound of steel that Tisco produced ...
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Old 4th January 2008, 23:30   #11
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we'll talk when they would drive Tata-manufactured Range Rovers and Jaguars. Well if in case, the Jaguar does sell. But that is a topic for another discussion.
What the author of this article out to know is that Indians are rich enough to pay head-over-heels for a car that is worth much less if manufactured in say USA. I think that sort of articles should not even be published and perhaps Bloomberg.com need to be "eyeing" some new editors.

But insults and sentiments aside, the article does raise a valid point about the safety and environment specifics of the car. I whole-heartedly praise Tatas for what they have contributed to the Indian Automotive sector but at $2500/car, even they would be cash-strapped to provide much.
I cannot wait to see the 1LTata in flesh. Hope the best for it.
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Old 4th January 2008, 23:39   #12
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The tone is patronizing but no point getting worked up about what no name columnist thinks. We had hundreds of articles with the exact same irritating tone when we had the nuclear tests.

Indian industrialists have themselves been guilty of dumping third grade and outdated technologies here. All our laws can be easily circumvented, look at the state of Bombay, look at the rivers and lakes in India or the general environment. There are laws and standards for everything in India but nothing gets implemented because the people responsible inevitably colluded to make money and look the other way

Business had no nationality, its about maximizing profits. There is no innovation coming out of India in any field, which is why we are not a developed country yet. In the recent past only Japan and South Korea have made the transition to $15000 plus per capita incomes and thats been powered by innovation.

We will have to do it too, and we have more than a biilion Indian's to account for and provide a decent living. I remember reading recently that more than 70% of Indians are living on less than 20 a day and have limited or no access to clean water, electricity, education, healthcare. We have work to do.

Last edited by raul : 4th January 2008 at 23:49.
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Old 4th January 2008, 23:57   #13
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Guys,
Shall we invite him to India to learn what India is... The way Shilpa Shetty did…



Hope that dude will read it while sitting in a corner of his so called developed nation.This is for you. Dude one question, Have you heard anything about something called Mahabharata? If no please buy an English version (Even though it must have lost more than half of its essence while translating) you may get some idea how technically advanced an Indian could thought about the world, millions of years ago.



If you are able to read that, may be you feel whatever you see today in your modern industrialized nation is just a mock up of that. May be much more than you could imagine even today. Now if I say it really existed at that time you must jump out of your chair and say “Holly *****”.

Last edited by HotChillyPepper : 5th January 2008 at 00:08.
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Old 5th January 2008, 00:19   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raul View Post
The tone is patronizing but no point getting worked up about what no name columnist thinks. We had hundreds of articles with the exact same irritating tone when we had the nuclear tests.

Indian industrialists have themselves been guilty of dumping third grade and outdated technologies here. All our laws can be easily circumvented, look at the state of Bombay, look at the rivers and lakes in India or the general environment. There are laws and standards for everything in India but nothing gets implemented because the people responsible inevitably colluded to make money and look the other way

Business had no nationality, its about maximizing profits. There is no innovation coming out of India in any field, which is why we are not a developed country yet. In the recent past only Japan and South Korea have made the transition to $15000 plus per capita incomes and thats been powered by innovation.

We will have to do it too, and we have more than a biilion Indian's to account for and provide a decent living. I remember reading recently that more than 70% of Indians are living on less than 20 a day and have limited or no access to clean water, electricity, education, healthcare. We have work to do.

I must say I am in 100% agreement with the following post. Great write.
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Old 5th January 2008, 01:02   #15
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Originally Posted by hrman View Post
I remember some negative reviews of this type when Tata exported the Rover-Indica model in the UK. Somehow the goras still cannot digest the fact that Indians can be pioneers in the Automobile field. Very narrow minded indeed.
Hi hrman,

I don't think the reviews of the CityRover were based on any preconceptions of Indian industrial ability. The negative reaction to the car in the UK came from the fact that:

a) The Rover Brand was perceived as being a failing brand grappling at any opportunity ( they even produced a supercar!!! )

b) The buying public and motoring press knew weren't convinced that a car launched in India in 1998 was a 'new ' car in the UK 5 years later in 2003.

Thanks,
Mac

OH AND THAT ARTICLE FROM BLOOMBERG IS ATROCIOUS!
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