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Old 12th October 2007, 16:00   #16
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1 L is going to replace the "Safe Bajaj RE Autos" and the good old Omni. yes, It is going to congest the cities. Tata's focusing on vast African, South American markets. They might hit million number sales in India, but it will be outnumbered by their sales in another country. Like Suzuki India out numbered their sales in Japan (Last month/Quarter).

About Safety,
Esteem didn't have side impact beam initially. Maruti didn't accept as lack of safety, but when it is added they said, additional safety feature.
How about Tata 1L's A pillar and the body frames are reinforced by a strong steel pipes/tubes? Safety and beauty might not coexist at this cost.

if Bosch CRDI, Honeywell Turbo + AC comes in this car for 1.6 L to 1.8L thats cool. I would prefer their upper variant with ABS + dual Airbag for 3L.
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Old 12th October 2007, 16:37   #17
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It would be difficult to comment on the `safety' of Tata's new `car' without it coming out. But if Mr. Jagdish Khattar can claim that 800 is as safe as a Merc, then Tata can certainly claim that the new car would be as safe as a Merc. or at least a Corolla/Civic. Of course, the difference is that Merc is fully loaded and costs a min of 25 lakhs in India.
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Old 12th October 2007, 17:17   #18
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Originally Posted by directinjection View Post
Can you please reproduce the said clause or provide a link thereto?

First of all, being forward control and being rear engined are two entirely different things. Omni is not rear engined, yet it is forward control. Most buses in this country are not rear engined but almost all of them are forward control.

A forward control vehicle is one with a flat front, wherever the engine may be. A normal control vehicle has the engine compartment and bonnet outside of and in front of the passenger compartment. In a semi-forward control vehicle (like Tata 407), part of the engine is outside the passenger compartment and the remaining inside. In 407, the engine can be accessed from the driver cab too.

A normal control and semi-forward control vehicle would always have a nose. However, a vehicle may have a nose and yet not have its engine inside it, like in Versa. A forward control vehicle obviously can't have a nose.

Even though the one lac rupee car is rear engined, it will not be forward control, going by the reports and pictures in existence. And so, the exemption clause that you refer to can't possibly apply to it.

I seriously doubt if international crash standards exempt forward control vehicles, even if the proposed Indian ones do.

Even the Tata Ace, a full forward control vehicle is claimed by TM to meet the crash standards.

i have already explained the defination of forward control vehicles (please see my previous post)....International crash standard doen't exempt forward control vehicles but the present Indian crash standards are based on very old Internation standards in which forward control vehicles are exempted

New Indian Crash standards will be coming in 2014 for sure ( my friend confirmed me this he is working with Ashoka Leyland and he also confirmed that even crash facilities will come to india in 2010)

I will try to post the Internation regulations in my next post ( i don't have a soft copy of Indian standards but will try to arrange from my friend)
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Old 12th October 2007, 20:03   #19
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Whatever be it, it will definitely be a much safer option to a family motorbike. That has time and again been Mr Ratan Tata's statement as to what the target audience of the car is.

Moreover, it has also been pointed out that the car will meet International/European crash testing norms which does not distinguish between Forward control or otherwise. There is a lot of European interest as well on this car so one can expect the car to be designed to be appealing to those companies as well.

Rear engine does not make a car forward control.

Note, there is no rocket science about making a cheap one-lakh rupee car. Quite a few of them are actually running in some non-descriptive form in quite a few places. However, when you dial in the traditional expectation from a car in terms of safety and facilities, one gets into complexities which is quite evident in the time and effort not just Tata but all its vendors are putting into it.

Lets just be with them, rather than try to castigate them for trying. This is something that our so called industry leaders (The formation of some of them are in itself controversial) should have tried long back, given our economies, but they decided to loot us in the bargain. Instead it took another Tata car to bring their cars to somewhat realistic price points.

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Old 12th October 2007, 21:03   #20
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Originally Posted by smartmundu View Post
i don't think 5% of people can say Maruti Omni is a safe car)...i don't know why a company like Maruti making such a car
Any other alternative for mass transport at that price? Omni, although very basic, still meets the needs of many bussinesses and acts as a people mover. Dont think any other options are available within a range of 3 times its price!
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Old 12th October 2007, 21:18   #21
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The car's proper pictures are not out yet and here there's someone talking about its safety.

Wait for the car before U judge by hearsay. Period!
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Old 12th October 2007, 21:34   #22
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- A company which has invested money in a crash test facility and is the only company in the country to even have one, is trying to run away from crash test. Seems odd to me.
- The target market of the 1L car will be either the two wheeler owners or the 800 owners. I suppose the 1L will be safer than both.
- I read somewhere in a mag.. Ratan Tata was saying that initially they thought the 1L car should be an extension of a quad. But then they changed their mind and went out for a 'full car', and it will be as safe as a normal car. (Once I reach home I will try to source that article.)
- Let the car come out in the open. And we will all see how safe it is and how it fairs in the domestic and international market. I think we should save this debate for later.
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Old 12th October 2007, 22:02   #23
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The thing is, let alone TATA's 1 lakh car.. if crash tests are compulsory.. many Marutis are also in trouble.. Even if TATA 1 lac car is targeted for ppl moving from bike to car, it is not an excuse for any car maker not to fulfill safety norms...

This all depends on Govt. if they make a compulsion.. It is not like anybody is against the car.. The only thing is, they should not compromise to keep its cast low..
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Old 12th October 2007, 22:13   #24
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I think most questions on build quality,crash worthiness and safety will be answered by January End at the Auto Expo.

Since no member of the general public has seen the car, tested the car more less even touched the car- It seems unfair to judge the 1 Lakh Concept.

TATA have always had Sturdy, Built to Tank like cars, which carry more steel than anyother hatchback or saloon- I'm sure TATA will foray into Reinforced Fibre Panels with the same Legacy.
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Old 13th October 2007, 01:46   #25
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Safe? I don't know. But it is a success already! How you may ask. Read on...

From Edmunds Inside line:

This car has spawned similar project from the global auto makers. Whether this particular one lakh car from TATA Motors succeeds or not, Ratan Tata's dream of an affordable car will be fulfilled by one of the global automakers for sure.

India's Tata Motors and the Next People's Car

By Paul Lienert, Contributor Email

Date posted: 10-10-2007
STORY TOOLS Print this Save this Digg this! Email this Most popular del.icio.us
Ratan Tata may be remembered as the Henry Ford of India — or perhaps the Preston Tucker. But already his influence is being felt by such global auto titans as Carlos Ghosn and Ferdinand Piech, despite the fact that tiny Tata Motors doesn't even seem to have surfaced on Detroit's murky radar screens.

That could be yet another strategic blunder in myopic Motown. Because, in an industry that measures progress in infinitesimal increments, Tata's audacious blueprint for an affordable "people's car" — a 21st-century Model T for emerging global markets — has the potential to be a game-changer, much like the original Volks-Wagen ("People's Car") designed by Piech's grandfather, Ferdinand Porsche.

Details are sketchy, but Tata envisions a compact four-seater with a rear-mounted engine, built on the cheap in India and shipped to first-time buyers in markets from Afghanistan to Zanzibar. How cheap? Tata wants to sell his car for 100,000 rupees — one lakh, in Indian parlance, thus the vehicle's unofficial designation as the "one-lakh car."

At current exchange rates, that translates to about $2,500, or roughly half the price of India's least expensive car, the aging Maruti 800, and about one-quarter of the going rate for Renault's ballyhooed "affordable car," the Romanian-built Logan.

The Neo-Beetle
Ghosn has been quick to seize the gauntlet, launching assembly of the Logan in India earlier this year in partnership with local manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra, one of Tata's fiercest competitors.

But the Renault chairman has been even more aggressive in sizing up the potential for a really cheap car, recruiting another Indian firm, Bajaj Auto, a maker of two- and three-wheeled vehicles, to partner on development of a $3,000 no-frills hatchback that would dance toe to toe with Tata's one-lakh car. As Ghosn told reporters this summer, such a product "could have a big potential — bigger than India."

Piech hasn't exactly been sitting on the sidelines. VW's supreme commander has his engineers and designers whipping up a new Third World design, along the lines of the rear-engine Up! concept that was unveiled at the 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show.

Piech's minions have tried and failed at least once before at this mission, having proposed, then scrapped a similar scheme about five years ago to build a cheap, sub-Polo minicar in China. Now VW, like Renault, is looking to India as an even lower-cost source of production for its neo-Beetle, even though the price target is a much less ambitious $7,000.

Where Are the Japanese?
From a cost standpoint, even Japanese auto giant Toyota considers India to be the smartest location to base its upcoming global subcompact — a $7,000 hatchback that will use the iQ concept from Frankfurt as its jumping-off point. Like VW and Renault, Toyota plans eventually to build and sell its cheap small car in such emerging markets as China, Russia and Brazil.

The new stripped-down models from Renault and Tata are intended primarily as step-up starter vehicles for owners of scooters and motorcycles. With little or no safety gear, emissions hardware or even basic amenities that American buyers take for granted, like a radio and a heater, they won't be seen any time soon on the streets of Santa Monica.

Still, the Detroit-based automakers' overseas operations appear to have nothing like them on the books. The closest competitor would be General Motors' China-built Chevrolet Spark, a sibling to the Korean-designed Daewoo Matiz that sells in China for around $6,000.

Automotive Manhattan Project
While Detroit so far is paying little heed to India's automotive equivalent of the Manhattan Project, Beijing and Seoul have taken notice. Hyundai is said to be pondering its own low-cost strategy, using its sprawling manufacturing complex in Southern India as a potential small-car export hub for the rest of the Asia-Pacific rim, despite the fact that it is in the process of installing enough production capacity in China to build a million cars a year.

Taking on the Chinese and Koreans in the global small-car arena might seem daunting enough — so much so that Chrysler threw in the towel earlier this year and hired Chery to build most of its future compacts in China. And yet even a low-cost expert like Chery, which makes a cheap $4,000 knockoff of the Spark called the QQ, is about to set up shop in India, to take advantage of labor rates that are less than half of those in China. Ironically, GM also has begun assembling a version of the Spark in India (where the local model starts at $7,800).

So how can a small Indian manufacturer possibly upstage such a formidable array of competitors, from feisty Chery to mighty GM?

Family Business
Like Ford, Toyota and VW, Tata Motors is a publicly held company that's still family-controlled, in this case by Ratan Tata, an American-educated fifth-generation scion who's held the reins at the 130-year-old firm since 1991.

A subsidiary of the Tata Group, which owns everything from steel companies to luxury hotels (it even owns Tetley Tea), Tata Motors is India's largest indigenous automaker, as well as the country's largest manufacturer of trucks, buses and commercial vehicles. Once known as TELCO (for Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company), the firm introduced the Tata Indica, the first modern small car designed in India, less than 10 years ago. Before that, Tata had made only a half-hearted attempt to enter the passenger-vehicle market, with a boxy station wagon called the Tatamobile and clunky SUVs with such unromantic names as Sumo and Safari.

Following the 1998 launch of the highly regarded Indica and subsequent rollout of sister models Indigo and Marina, the one-lakh car began bubbling up as a dream project for the 69-year-old Tata, who holds a Cornell engineering degree and is a graduate of Harvard's Advanced Management Program.

They'll Get What They Pay for
How realistic is Tata's vision for a new "people's car"?

Says Hormazd Sorabjee, editor of Autocar India: "Obviously, the quality will only be what you get in this (price) bracket. The car may lack refinement, but there will be no compromise on fuel efficiency and running costs."

Adds Gautam Sen, editor of Auto India magazine: "It will be good enough to serve the basic transportation needs of a typical Indian commuter [as well as] for developing markets around the world. There will be more expensive versions with options that will be priced much higher. And a more sophisticated derivative could very well find its way to Europe."

If Ratan Tata can successfully bring his dream car to market as promised in late 2008 — even if the price tag balloons to one-and-a-half lakhs — he will have earned his popular sobriquet: the people's tycoon.
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Old 13th October 2007, 04:05   #26
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Just because it is a rear engined car, does not necessarily imply that it will not be base. Unlike the omni, the pictures for the 1 lakh car do indicate that it will have a front crumple zone. Furthermore as others have pointed out, it will definately be safer transportation for people who currently rely on bikes.
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Old 13th October 2007, 11:45   #27
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Anything will be safer than an omni
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Old 13th October 2007, 12:12   #28
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^ somehow I have not heard of many people dying / getting seriously injured in Maruti vans - not to say that they are then necessarily safer, but it makes you wonder why - is it because they don't go at a high speed to begin with?

I had a very bad accident in a 800 and was bashed in the back by a container truck going very fast. The impact was such that the 800 totally overturned. Since I got out of the whole ordeal without a single scratch it makes me a little biased about the safety of the 800 at least! (and also question the logic that a car that is more expensive / bigger is necessarily safer).
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Old 13th October 2007, 12:22   #29
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As per the discussion goes, i wanna ask a qn.

Is any car safe on road whether be a 2.5L Maruti or be a 30+L Merc.

It depends on the following attributes:
1. How u drive
2. How ppl arnd u drive
3. Somewat on the safety features
4. Most imp. following traffic rules.

Many a times we have seen accidents killin ppl. Just wanna tell u a fact that most of the times it is a mid-sized car driven by sme brutual brats.

I know i m diverting from the topic but still safety doesn't cme from safety features yeah u hv an assurance!!! A FAKE ASSURANCE
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Old 13th October 2007, 15:28   #30
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^ Exactly Varun, IMO, A car is only as safe as its driver. A driver can crash a Merc S class to kill all the passengers, and a driver can drive even a Maruti OMNI whole life without even a scratch on its body.( If we Consider OMNI to be the most UNSAFE car)

Last edited by sumitkalindi : 13th October 2007 at 15:29.
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