India’s Car Rush – Are We Driving Towards a Sustainability Crash?
India’s Tata Motors promises the first batch of customers will be able to buy the Nano, its small car, for not much more than $2,000.
Nissan, with its partner motorcycle manufacturer Bajaj, may even beat that.
In any case, the price of cars in India, relative to incomes, appears to be coming down. Choice is also going to grow because Honda has plans for India as do many of the aggressive Chinese manufacturers such as Shanghai Auto and Premier.
Steady economic growth in India is increasing incomes – for some – so prospects for car sales appear promising. In 2008-2009 about 1.5 million cars were sold. For 2009-2010 pundits are betting on 2 million. Numbers might rise even faster if buyers can access cheap credit from manufacturers, a pretty common practise elswhere.
Cars, so their promoters say, are about freedom, allowing people to go anywhere whenever they please. But when everybody tries to exercise that freedom in clutterd, choking cities it becomes a joke.
It is however no joke for sustainability.
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