There was lots said on the world’s cheapest car awhile back. A lot of it was facile and derogatory.
What it reminded me of was the computer business. Computer prices level off from time to time, and the impression I used to have was: well, that’s it, you can’t make them cheaper than that. Faster maybe, but not cheaper. No sooner would I think that than someone WOULD come along and make it cheaper.
Now what making it cheaper did was 3 things.
1: it made people realize that there was no lower limit to how cheap you could make computers. And there is still no limit.
2: it greatly increased who could get access to computers, and everytime more people gained access to computers, better things occured.
3: It changed the design of the computers. Making more computers makes them better, not worse.
And it is on that last point that I think that the world’s cheapest car could be a good thing.
For more, see Tata Nano: The Worlds Cheapest Car at New York Times. According the the Times:
“Over the past year, Tata has been building hype for a car that would cost a mere 100,000 rupees (roughly $2,500) and bring automotive transportation to the mainstream Indian population. It has been nicknamed the “People’s Car.” “