Catch-as-catch-can for a dekho

Written by Vrishti Beniwal | New Delhi, Jan 10 | Updated: Jan 11 2008, 04:00am hrs
After being marred with a spate of controversies in the past, the Tatas Rs 1-lakh car left the spectators spellbound when it was launched at the Auto Expo on Thursday. Journalists and car enthusiasts flocked from all over the world to get a glimpse of Ratan Tatas dream car. Nano, as Tatas have named it, proved big crowd puller even months before the launch.

Shutterbugs were going out of control to capture it first. The visitors were awestruck to see the beautifully designed the smallest, and also the cheapest car of India, or perhaps the world. Thats so cute, Wow, is that the 1 lakh car, Im going to buy this carsuch were the reactions from those among the visitors.

The Nano lured two-wheeler riders as well as many others to the extent that they started weaving dreams of driving the car thats smaller from outside but more spacious from inside. The moment the stage was left to the public to come and feel the car, it seemed there was a competition as to who touched it first.

For those few moments, both mediapersons and the visitors forgot there were product launches at other pavilions too. To many, the small car looked more glamorous than the female models posing with other luxury brands. There is another section of the society that was waiting for the carenvironmentalists. Tata allayed their fears saying, Pachauri will not have a nightmare and Sunita Narain can also sleep.

He didnt miss the chance of replying to Maruti Suzukis Osamu Suzukis attacking statements in the past. We set out to do what people said is not possible. It is the same people that are following. This is a vindication of our concept, Tata said.

The initial response to the car has been overwhelming, but its actual test will be done once its out on the roads to be experienced by the common man. As Tata put it, The final judgment will be made by the consumer. Lets wait and let them decide.

The 71-year-old also admitted at times he would think he would not be able to meet the cost or the deadline. Sometimes we thought we may not be able to unveil it in the auto expo. And now when the project is over, he feels the challenge had just begun. We have to deliver on our promises.

The darker size of the launch was that the media, which was invited to cover the launch, was barred from entering the already over-crowded pavilion.

As Tata was set to unveil the car inside the hall, mediapersons were jostling with the security guards at the hall entrance.

It was mad rush as security guards tried to manhandle the media trying to barge into the hall.