There is a slight lack of clarity about this $3,000 figure. Does it refer to the actual retail price? Or does it refer to the cost of materials that are used in preparing this automobile? It's not quite clear. ... There's not much clarity about which standards, and which year, this $3,000 car is aiming to fulfill. ... Will airbags be included? Will seat belts?
Right now, in Europe we have the Euro3 standards, and soon we will have the Euro4 standards and around 2013 the Euro5 standards will also be implemented. Are [Tata] only planning to release it domestically in India? Are they thinking of exports? There is so much that is not known about this car. ... Our fundamental stance is that rather than Suzuki becoming very concerned about watching over our shoulder to see what other people are doing, we'll move forward at our own pace.
Makers of small, econo-boxes like Suzuki and Honda probably have the most to worry about cars like Tata's Rs 1-lakh. The $3,000 price Osamu mentions is a price some say the car may actually sell for instead of $2,500. In fairness to Tata, the comments we told you about seemed to be a slip and the official debut is in January 2008. There are still very big questions but Tata is Indian's #1 automaker and may have bought Jaguar and Land Rover, so don't write off this car just yet.