Tata seemed to pulled off a remarkable feat creating a small, efficient, relatively safe (certainly compared to a moped) and cheap ($2500) car - the Tata Nano.
So why did New Zealand TV news seem obsessed with the need to report that didn’t have electric windows or power steering? Maybe lazy reporters can’t comprehend winding up a window with muscle power (it’s really possible) or realise that a small light rear engined car does not need power steering.
Tata’s goal, like Giacosa, is to mobilise a nation as efficiently as possible. Mobility gives choice, choice gives freedom. You might argue that but I’d first suggest reading Drive On! : A Social History of the Motor Car by LJK. Setright.
Extract from “A Preamble”, Drive On! LJK. Setright
"We need a book to show us - especially those of us too young to remember - what good and evil things have been done to, with, for, and by, the motor car. I would like this to be a book that the enthusiast for motoring can read with pleasure, the critic with growing understanding, the historian with some surprise, and the scholar with satisfaction."
If the Nano succeeds Tata will change economies and societies. The call to deny people that opportunity is usually made by those who already benefit from it. How can I deny someone personal mobility, when I own a car.