Indians could say Tata to motorcycles

The cheapest car in the world could soon be rolling off an assembly line in India, satisfying the needs ofTraffic_2
the country’s burgeoning middle class.

The car maker Tata Motors has not divulged many details about the
car other than its shockingly low sticker price of 100,000 rupees, or 1
lakh in Indian currency. That’s just over £1200, less than half the
price of the lowest-priced cars on India’s market today.

Tata spokesman: "We’re pleased to announce that we’re going to be introducing a one-lakh car."

Reporter: "A one-lakh car? Will it have four wheels?"

Spokesman: "Yes, four wheels and a spare."

Reporter: "What about brakes?"

Spokesman: "Yes, it will have brakes. Good brakes."

Reporter: "Headlights?"

Spokesman: "Yes, it will have headlights."

Reporter: "Air-conditioning?"

Spokesman: "It’s a one-lakh car, you idiot!"

Supposedly, the 1 Lakh Car – Tata has yet to release its official name
– will be a 4-door as big as a Volkswagen Rabbit, much of it will be
plastic, and it will have a rear-mounted 30-horsepower engine. By
comparison, a Rabbit has about 150 horsepower.

A car made of plastic? That sounds like a great idea. You can drive it for a few years, then put it into a recycling bin.

But plastic cars may have some drawbacks:

Rani: "Mohan, why are you walking home? What happened to our new car?"

Mohan: "It’s gone, Rani. Our new car is gone."

Rani: "What do you mean ‘gone’? Did someone steal it?"

Mohan: "No, it was such a hot day. The car melted."

Even if it doesn’t get quite that hot in India, a plastic car may pose problems:

Rani: "Mohan, why are you walking home? What happened to our new car?"

Mohan: "We have a flat."

Rani: "A flat tire?"

Mohan: "No, a flat car. An elephant sat on it."

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. And I know people will be modding it to make it run on CNG – hope TATA doesn’t throw up a big stink about that.

  2. Lili Gharieb says:


  3. There was a time when the time it takes for plastics to break down was measured in decades, if not centuries. Now, with improvement in plastics technology, “new age” plastics that are destined for recycling are made biodegradable, with shorter shelf life.
    What plastics are the “new age” cars made from?

  4. Pradeep Kumar says:

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