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Thread: Your new $6,000 Tata Indica!

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Your new $6,000 Tata Indica!

    It could be 1975 all over again soon - and I'm not talking about skyrocketing gas prices. That's old news.

    The real news is the coming onslaught of modern Chevettes, Pintos and Le Cars from places like India and China. These are cheap and simple cars in a way that American (and Japanese and even Korean) cars haven't been since the '80s, at least.

    Check out the Tata Indica - it's a crapbox made the old-fashioned way - which means, it's made with next to nothing at all.

    You get:

    * An internal radio antenna!
    * Vanity mirrors on sun visor!
    * Remote release for fuel latch!
    * 14 inch steel wheels!
    * Top speed of 90 mph!


    All standard equipment!

    The Indica is Tata's car for the Masses. Initially, those Masses were located in India, but soon - probably no more than 2-3 years from now - cars like the Indica will be flooding the U.S. market, too.

    And with a base price well under $10,000 brand-new, "flooding" is no exaggeration. Tatas - and cars from China - will cost thousands less than the least expensive mainline Japanese and Korean econo-compacts, doing to these brands what Honda and Hyundai once did to GM and Ford. History does tend to repeat itself - and those who are on the wrong end of this deal are going to be in for some tough times ahead.

    The Tata and cars like it are not just a return to a simpler type of car - free of much of the expense-padding electronic flapdoodle that has pushed the price of so-called "economy" cars closer to $20,000 than $10,000 in recent years. The Tata, et al also take into account the disconnect (not yet recognized by Detroit or Japan) between the surging cost of new cars - even the "cheapies" - and the static or declining purchasing power of those in the industrialized West in general and the United States in painful particular.

    If incomes are not going to go up, then the cost of consumer goods - cars included - has got to come down. With food and other staples, there's only so much you can do. But with cars, there is a lot of wiggle room.

    * First, cut back the power -

    Most any Name Brand economy car is good for at least 110 mph; some will do 120-plus. The Tata's top speed is 90 mph - about what a '70s-era Chevette might achieve if given enough room to build speed. So, yes, it is slow. But no matter how enamored we are with the idea of speed, the hard reality is that the maximum legal speed in the United States is well shy of the Tata's top end. And while it's true most of us do drive faster than the posted limit, it's equally true that not many of us drive faster than 80-something for any length of time. It's big-time illegal, for openers (in some states, doing in excess of 80 mph is considered "reckless driving" on the face of it). And for two, there's just not that much opportunity to drive that fast for very long. Most of the population is concentrated in urban/suburban areas - where gridlocked roads keep speeds down as effectively as radar traps. In overcrowded India, there a billion people jockeying for position; no matter how much we deny it or dislike it, we're headed down the very same path - and the Tata is made to order for the trip.

    * Second, resurrect the stripper -

    Truly, there hasn't been an authentic stripper - a car with little more than its shell, an engine and a gas gauge - in years. Virtually every mainstream economy car comes with AC as standard equipment, if not power windows, door locks - even (inevitably) GPS, if current trends continue.

    The Tata is truly naked - internal antenna! - just like the el cheapo specials of previous decades. Buy a car like the Chevette or Pinto and you were happy if it had an AM radio - or carpet, even. "Deluxe" models sometimes had some extra padding and a few bits of plasticized chrome to dress them up. There were no alloy wheels, no MP3 (or even 8-track playing) stereos. Just basic transportation. You could buy such a car for about $2,000 in yesterday's money - which works out to about the same money for a new Tata Indica in today's depreciated/inflated dollars.

    Viva 1975!

    * Third, employ desperate and (critically) not unionized labor -

    Being an autoworker once meant a middle class income; enough to support a wife and kids - a home in the suburbs and a new car, too. Put in 30 years, you got a pension and were set for a reasonably secure retirement. No more. The Detroit Model is no longer sustainable; "legacy costs" (pensions, health care) alone add about $1,500 to the cost of every new car GM, Ford and Chrysler make these days. That kind of overhead can't be supported when a growing industrial juggernaut like Tata has an endless pool of workers - hundreds of millions of them, potentially - who will happily shiv one another to secure an insecure position on a Tata assembly line for the equivalent of maybe $20 per day, or whatever the going rate for stoop labor is right now in India. Same with the Chinese. 300 million Americans are going to be brought down to the level of 1.6 billion Chinese and the rest of the so-called "merging world."

    So, instead of seeing the USA in your Chevrolet, get ready to toodle along in your new Tata.

    It's the wave of the future - and a fate that can no longer be avoided.

    END

  2. #2
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    Re: Your new $6,000 Tata Indica!

    Just posted this article on the main site with pictures:




    http://www.ericpetersautos.com/home/...1&Itemid=10894

  3. #3
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: Your new $6,000 Tata Indica!

    Surely these crapboxes will never meet US crash and safety regs.

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    Re: Your new $6,000 Tata Indica!

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    Surely these crapboxes will never meet US crash and safety regs.
    mister d,

    Remember Eric's article about the crash tests? The tests are done by catagory, so in it's catagory which will be a smaller class of car it will probably pass.

    These type of cars are going to hurt all the automakers including Toyota and Honda. I remember back in the 1980s when people in large numbers bought Hyundais and Yugos - both were junk. But there are many willing to buy junk if it's new and it's cheap.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mase's Avatar
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    Re: Your new $6,000 Tata Indica!

    I think I would continue to do what I have been doing my last few cars - buy a couple-year-old nicer car rather than a cheap new one.
    A man's greatest mistake is to think he is working for somebody else.

  6. #6
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: Your new $6,000 Tata Indica!

    http://tatanano.inservices.tatamotors.com/tatamotors/

    The Indica is a luxury yacht compared to the Nano.

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    Re: Your new $6,000 Tata Indica!

    I would like to try one of those sh**boxes. Too bad we can't build them here like that.

    Eric - where's the 85 mph speedometer?

  8. #8
    Senior Member J. ZIMM's Avatar
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    Re: Your new $6,000 Tata Indica!

    Hey; I might consider one if it helps lower my insurance rates. If they don't cost a small furtune to start with, maybe it won't cost a fortune to insure. ;D

  9. #9
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Your new $6,000 Tata Indica!

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry
    I would like to try one of those sh**boxes. Too bad we can't build them here like that.

    Eric - where's the 85 mph speedometer?
    That might be coming back, too!

    (If I recall correctly, the federal law requiring 85 mph speedos got dropped circa 1983.....)

  10. #10
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    Re: Your new $6,000 Tata Indica!

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Quote Originally Posted by Henry
    I would like to try one of those sh**boxes. Too bad we can't build them here like that.

    Eric - where's the 85 mph speedometer?
    That might be coming back, too!

    (If I recall correctly, the federal law requiring 85 mph speedos got dropped circa 1983.....)
    Yes. They were dropped in 1981. Since car makers take a year or so to change around, the new speedometers started showing up in the 1983 model year. http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/regrev/analyses/ByFMVSS.html

    Car and Driver Magazine had a good write up in their October 1982 issue about the rule.

  11. #11
    Senior Member J. ZIMM's Avatar
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    Re: Your new $6,000 Tata Indica!

    Hey, will these things come with helper pedals so you can get that needed help getting over the big hills? I live near the Cascade Mountians and I darned near pushed a Huyndai up over Santiam Pass last fall. I know he was pedaling as fast as he could, and he was glad when he finally got around that truck.

  12. #12
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Your new $6,000 Tata Indica!

    Quote Originally Posted by J. ZIMM
    Hey, will these things come with helper pedals so you can get that needed help getting over the big hills? I live near the Cascade Mountians and I darned near pushed a Huyndai up over Santiam Pass last fall. I know he was pedaling as fast as he could, and he was glad when he finally got around that truck.
    There may be a "Flinstones" optional equipment group - that includes cut-out floorplans for Foot Assist!

  13. #13
    jillsuncle
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    Re: Your new $6,000 Tata Indica!

    Me drive that POS? UHHH No that would be a NEGATIVE!. Yugo II here we go. You get what you pay for people!

    Vroller ;D

  14. #14
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: Your new $6,000 Tata Indica!

    Just remember, Tata is Jaguar's entry-level line now.

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    Re: Your new $6,000 Tata Indica!

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    Just remember, Tata is Jaguar's entry-level line now.
    Now it all makes sense.

  16. #16
    Senior Member J. ZIMM's Avatar
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    Re: Your new $6,000 Tata Indica!

    Holy Bat Stuffings. No wonder Ferd is having liposucktion pains. Why would they ever buy Jaguar in the first place? Thats not a step up, thats a step down, way down.

  17. #17
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Your new $6,000 Tata Indica!

    Quote Originally Posted by J. ZIMM
    Holy Bat Stuffings. No wonder Ferd is having liposucktion pains. Why would they ever buy Jaguar in the first place? Thats not a step up, thats a step down, way down.
    Tata - like the Chinese car companies - expect to do as Hyundai has done. Step One is to penetrate the market; Step Two is to build better and better cars; Step Three is to bring out a luxury car - even a line of luxury cars.

    Wait about 10 years and see...

  18. #18

    Re: Your new $6,000 Tata Indica!

    The much-maligned Yugo is a good comparison. Reminds me, also, of the infamous K-Car. What a low-point in automobile engineering. Junk.

    Remember, folks. If we get Obama, your car will be illegal soon. I'm 6' 8". That makes me "screwed". I'll need a shoe horn to get out of these new compact cars.

    Also, be aware of the new "eco-driving" movement, that California and Colorado (and possibly Virginia, Eric) are moving towards. This new constituency disguises speed limit decreases when they say "drive at a steady speed', but go on to ccontend that any speed over 60 is wasteful. Watch these folks.

    Maybe these new small cars like the Tata will use the technology, along with theiir built-in radio antennae, to increase cabin space. Doubtful, but possible.

    Hawg

  19. #19
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Your new $6,000 Tata Indica!

    Quote Originally Posted by hwyhawg
    The much-maligned Yugo is a good comparison. Reminds me, also, of the infamous K-Car. What a low-point in automobile engineering. Junk.

    Remember, folks. If we get Obama, your car will be illegal soon. I'm 6' 8". That makes me "screwed". I'll need a shoe horn to get out of these new compact cars.

    Also, be aware of the new "eco-driving" movement, that California and Colorado (and possibly Virginia, Eric) are moving towards. This new constituency disguises speed limit decreases when they say "drive at a steady speed', but go on to ccontend that any speed over 60 is wasteful. Watch these folks.

    Maybe these new small cars like the Tata will use the technology, along with theiir built-in radio antennae, to increase cabin space. Doubtful, but possible.

    Hawg
    Sigh....

    Well, at least I still have my motorcycles.....!

  20. #20
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    Re: Your new $6,000 Tata Indica!

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric

    The Tata is truly naked - internal antenna! - just like the el cheapo specials of previous decades. Buy a car like the Chevette or Pinto and you were happy if it had an AM radio - or carpet, even. "Deluxe" models sometimes had some extra padding and a few bits of plasticized chrome to dress them up. There were no alloy wheels, no MP3 (or even 8-track playing) stereos. Just basic transportation. You could buy such a car for about $2,000 in yesterday's money - which works out to about the same money for a new Tata Indica in today's depreciated/inflated dollars.

    Viva 1975!

    * Third, employ desperate and (critically) not unionized labor -


    So, instead of seeing the USA in your Chevrolet, get ready to toodle along in your new Tata.

    It's the wave of the future - and a fate that can no longer be avoided.

    END
    That's the wave of the past, too. My first car (and it was new) was a 54 Chev 2-door 6 cyl mod 150 w/manual trans, about as basic as it got. No radio, heater, ashtray, lighter, armrest in doors, etc., etc. It was no more than car and engine except for the single 'extra,' a bypass oil filter. The thing was a fleet vehicle and I knew someone who knew the fleet sales guy. It cost about $1,200 and change all in.

    Max speed was 85 mph, not that one would want to make a practice of it, and it got 14~15 mpg on the road. For whatever reason, that was what most of the basic cars got in those days.

    The car was 100% reliable and did exactly what it was designed to do. In that sense it was better than most of the most of the cars built today.

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