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Old 6th November 2010, 10:03   #1
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Default Bought a car over the phone, well almost- Tata Nano

My wife comes up to me one evening and says "my father wants a car", I look up at her to see if she is playing some kind of a joke, but seeing her look, I thought it would be wiser to just keep quiet without making any wiseass comments, I politely ask, "why does he need a car now?"
She says, "I don't know, but he is serious about having a car".

The thing is my father in law is an ex airforce gentleman retired long ago and is in his eighties, he has never driven a car in his life and I seriously doubt if he is planning on learning to drive now. But a car is a car, especially a new one, so I start getting interested and ask, "so what car does he want?" the answer is what I already know, "Don't know, it is up to you to decide what car he would want and buy it for him".

My FIL's typical day is somewhat like this, he goes for his walks in the mornings and evenings, during the day he steps out usually by walk to the nearby grocer or if the distance is a little more than that he takes an auto to the market, essentially he is out of the house for all of two hours in a day.
Once a month he visits the airforce canteen to stock up on his liquids and again buy groceries for the house, for this we send one of our cars with the driver for half a day.
On weekends he accompanies my wife to the library to get some books which he reads over the week.

Now, his house is in Malleswaram 18th cross which is like being bang in the middle of town, so what car will be suitable for a 20km per day ride at the most.
I start probing and the answer slowly comes out, it so happens that the apartment complex he lives in does not have enough parking slots, even though we have a slot it is alloted and not owned, so now neighbours are now raising questions as to why an elderly gentleman without a car needs a parking slot when the slot in question is used by his daughter only on weeknds that too for a few hours. So instead of losing a parking slot father and daughter decide buying a car will serve the purpose, my wife's argument was we can buy a car and consider it as investing in a parking slot which will enhance the appreciation of the flat.

The whole problem could have been easily solved if this issue had risen about 3 months ago when we still had the Accent and one car would always be in the garage, but the Accent is now sold, so we need to look for a new car.
The choices
New or used :
We reckoned an used car is not a good buy since any problem with the car would mean me running around getting it rectified and with the possibility of the elderly being stuck on the road.
So a new car it was going to be.

Which New Car?
Main considerations were cost of car as well as cost of it's ownership, since we already had a sedan and a SUV, a small car made sense.
My wife fixed a budget of 3 lakhs, so that made things easier, there were no new cars for 3 lakhs, even the 800cc Alto was costing 3.4 on road, we almost booked that stretching that budget, but I told my wife, if we are stretching the budget why not look for some more options, I felt an Indica would be better in terms of ride quality and ingress and egress for my in laws, so we decided to check out a Tata showroom during the week.

I had heard a lot about KHT Motors in Whitefield, so I called them up and fixed an appointment to meet one of their sales team the following day, during the conversation I asked what cars they had on offer, I was told they have cars from the Nano to the Aria, NANO, now why didn't I think of it before? I asked the guy on the phone "How long does it take to own a Nano?" His reply " When do you want it sir"? " Today or tomorrow" I replied quite sarcastically expecting a stream of protest from the guy, but his reply stumped me " Sir, you can pick up the car tomorrow if you make the payment today, you might have to wait for a week if and only if you want Champagne Gold colour".

I then asked for a test drive, I told him to send a car to my wife's office that evening as I was anyway supposed to pick her up and go car hunting. In the afternoon I get a call saying a Nano test drive car is in my vicinity and could I please check it out, I asked him if I could drive the car all the way to Whitefield show the car to my wife and then decide on buying it, the sales guy was ok with it, so the car was sent to my house and I set off on the almost 40km run to my wife's office.

My observations:
1) It was "A car"
2) It was comfortable
3) It was easy to drive
4) It matched the speed of other vehicles on the road
5) It started coughing when I pushed it and the speed touched 95kmph (I was on the Intermediate ring road from Yelahanka with zilch traffic)
6) The AC was pretty effective.
7) It had almost all features we were looking at for a city car for 2 people.
8) It was well within our budget.

My wife and I went from her office to KHT which was close by and started discussions, Anuj (Anujmishra) joined us and introduced us to the team from which he had just bought his Safari, the guys knew Tbhp, but no discounts or freebies were forthcoming. Nano, has no margins so we cannot give you any discounts or freebies was the mantra.
I just wanted them to fix a remote locking unit and sunfilm, and asked them to at least give me a discount on it, but nothing was forthcoming and it almost looked like they did not want the cheque which we were willing to write out there and then.
My wife was pretty unhappy with the treatment, I anyway asked them to send the test drive car to my FIL the next day before we hand over the cheque.

The Actual Buy
Next morning, no news from KHT about sending the car and collecting the cheque. On a hunch I just called up a contact in Prerana who happened to be an AGM service, he ensured that I got a call from the sales team in the next 5 minutes.
The sales guy parroted the same lines about discounts but then put me on to his superior who was the territory manager, he seemed to recognise me from my Safari buy and was very friendly, I gave him my requirements and without a fuss he agreed to fix 3M sunfilm and a remote locking and that too free of cost!!

Told them to send a test drive car to Malleswaram where I would hand over a DD to them, the test drive car arrived promptly at the agreed time and we went in the same car to the bank where I got a DD and handed it over, the car was to be delivered 2 days later after registration and the fitment of the film and keyless entry.

The Delivery
On the delivery day,I got a call from the sales advisor in the morning saying the car is ready and I can pick it up anytime. I told him I will reach them at 4 pm, hesitantly I asked him if it was possible to arrange a pickup from Malleswaram as my FIL wanted to come too and i did not want to stuck with 2 cars (my car and the nano), I was otherwise prepared to take an auto to the showroom, but I was pleasnatly surprised when the sales advisor agreed to send a car to pick us up from the residence.
So at 3.45 pm when I was still negotiating my way in traffic I get a call saying a Nano is waiting for me at my FIL's place, I reach there and it is the same test drive vehicle.

We reach the showroom and there it was, our little sunshine:
Bought a car over the phone, well almost- Tata Nano-1.jpg

Bought a car over the phone, well almost- Tata Nano-2.jpg

Bought a car over the phone, well almost- Tata Nano-3.jpg

The formalities of handing over took about half an hour, the features were explained and a 5 litre complimentary fuel coupon was handed over and we were wished good luck on our purchase. The car had done 39kms when it was handed over.

I drove to the nearby fuel station and the car took in 10 litres to fill up, the capacity is 15 litres, so effectively I had to pay for 5 litres only.
My Father in Law and I then drove up to the "Circle Maramma" temple at Malleswaram for the puja and then went and claimed the parking slot at the apartment.
Bought a car over the phone, well almost- Tata Nano-4.jpg

Bought a car over the phone, well almost- Tata Nano-5.jpg

The car has done about 180 kms in the one week that we have had it in the family as of now.
Will try and keep posting updates and niggles as experienced over time.
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Old 6th November 2010, 10:17   #2
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Congrats Hari.
This was our discussion yesterday at my FIL's home. He is old and retired. Most of the time it would only he and his wife travelling inside the city. And i gave them the idea of Nano. We intend to visit the showroom sometime next week. My only concern is that, my FIL is tall, i believe he should be little over 6".
I would look forward for your inputs on how your FIL feels it, when he rides round the city.
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Old 6th November 2010, 10:53   #3
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Hari, Congrats to you all - a cute little Diwali gift to yourselves, I see. Parking slots do cost more than a car these days

@rk_sans - that car is pretty tall. I guess a 6' person should still feel comfortable in it.
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Old 6th November 2010, 13:10   #4
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Thanks Rk and Parwath
My only concern is that, my FIL is tall, i believe he should be little over 6".
I would look forward for your inputs on how your FIL feels it, when he rides round the city.
My FIL has the same problem too, due to his age he cannot sit crouched, for rides in the city, this car fits the bill even for a tall person. Moreover he will be driven around by a driver, but today I drove it to my farm and observed that the driving position is pretty upright and knees don't knock on the panels, only drawback is the absence of left hand side rear view mirror.
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Old 6th November 2010, 13:38   #5
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Congrats on your buy, as well the buying experience. I felt Tata Dealers serviced you well (other than the discounts part, which you had to struggle a bit).

BTW, does Nano cost 3L? or was that lesser? I missed the price part somewhere if it is already mentioned.

Nano in yellow with the dark sun films looks good. Do post some interior pics too.
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Old 6th November 2010, 14:20   #6
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Congrats on getting the little guy!

If not for the Aria, you would have had TATA offerings at both end of the spectrum!

And yes, the pricing please!

So, here's wishing you / your FIL many KM's of safe and pleasant journey!
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