What's the Latest Development?
The Indian motor company Tata sells the world's cheapest car for about $2,200 but practically nobody is buying it. Tata estimated it would sell 100,000 of its Nano vehicles each month to India's car-crazy, upwardly mobile society; in reality, the company is only moving about 1,000 vehicles per month. The concept behind the Nano comes from Tata's sense of social responsibility in Indian society and its desire to provide an inexpensive form of safe travel on India's roadways.
What's the Big Idea?
In the upwardly mobile Indian society, cheap goods carry the stigma of poverty with them. In a sense, it seems the allure of the American Dream, embodied in material fortunes, has become too successful for the world's own good. Developing nations want to enjoy the developed world's way of life at a time when resource scarcity and environmental degradation weigh heavily on the fate of the planet. Perhaps the biggest mistake was Tata's for marketing the Nano as "the world's cheapest car".