'Tata didn't want Nano stitched like shirt around button'
Finding suitable design solutions, getting engineering package right and managing everything within stringiest cost parameters were some of the challenges the Nano team faced while coming up with the Rs 1 lakh car ($2500) but Ratan Tata did not want the vehicle to be built like stitching a shirt around a button, says a new book.
In "Small Wonder: The Making of Nano", writers Christabelle Noronha, Philip Chacko and Sujata Agarwal, chronicle the making of the small car saying it has been a struggle and a vindication, a long, arduous and expensive endeavour to cope with a wide range of problems.
"Ratan Tata was clear that the small-car team should not build the car around whatever engine it opted for; that would be, he said, like stitching a shirt around a button," the book says.
"It started by my spending a lot of time doodling at boring board meetings. Most of us are victims of the environment in which we are and...
We lose sight of the fact that we have a greater responsibility - a responsibility to serve the communities we live in to improve the quality of life of people we work with," the book quotes Ratan Tata as saying.
"This was not a commissioned book. We first thought of bringing it out as an in-house book," says Noronha.
"But then we felt there was a need to chronicle the Nano success story for the people and so we decided to bring out the book which is about conceptualization and creation of the car," Noronha told PTI.
It took the authors a year to write the book as "each of us had other things" to do.
"We had to do an inside story. And for this we had to do a lot of research and conduct interviews. We met several people including engineers and dealers of Tata Motors as well as Nano owners," she says. According to Noronha, there were challenges too.
"Getting inside the hearts and minds of engineers to cull out information was the biggest challenge." She says the relevance of the book, published by Westland Ltd, is the global relevance of the car.
The book also has a chapter on the shifting of the Nano plant from Singur in West Bengal to Sanand in Gujarat.
- by Kumar Shetty