Thanks for your amazing response to our poll on whether the Tata Nano minicar should be released in South Africa - this is our second selection - but keep them coming if you feel strongly either way!
It was in response to our opinion column on 'World going nuts over the Nano'.
You'll find the first collection here.
The Nano is a very good idea but too small to be marketed in this country. I like the idea of four doors because they make the car more practical, but few people can afford cars that are only suitable for city driving.
A lot of work needs to be done to ensure that it can reach a top speed of at least 120km/h. I am also convinced that it will NOT be sold for R20 000, especially if adapted to suit local conditions (you're right, but we didn't say it would cost R17 500 in SA, merely that that was what it was being sold for in India on a rupee/rand exchange rate basis).
As far as I am concerned, the B-Line is "cheap" enough, especially because it offers standard features not found on similarly priced cars and it is more suited to long distances than anything else in its price category.
I think this car is cool, as long as it can travel at 100k/h. Please tell me if I need to make a booking for this car and which dealer is the nearest in the Umlanga/Durban region. (Can't help you with a dealer, try the phone book.)
Bring it Guys, I need this car. I can't wait to see myself driving it to work instead of taking a taxi. Taxis...
Angel Manzini, Johannesburg
Seeing the new baby car from India for less than $3000 (Australian dollars, that is ) I doubt very much if it would ever get off the ground in Oz. No radio , no aircon, no heater/demister.
Nano NO NO NO!
These pampered Australians want every conceivable luxury and aircon is an absolute necessity here. As an expat from Durban living in Perth for 40 years, Boxing Day over here was 46.2 degrees. Our cars and our house are all air-conditioned.
For the millions of low-income people in South Africa, it might be a way for them to have a bit of independence. If one says "no", then that's probably classed as discrimination, if allowed into SA I can just see the traffic coming to a standstill as the roads become choked.
It's a delicate situation in which SA finds itself and unless the powers-that-be come up with a sound reason why they should not be imported into SA then I see no way out. It certainly has opened up a can of worms - or should that be curry powder!
P M. Francis, Australia
We have a free market so, yes, we should allow this car into SA! Provided it can keep up with the traffic on our highways and conforms to all other regulations, safety and otherwise stipulated by the local authorities.
This alternative by Tata provides an unbelievable reality to motorisation: with more young adults enrolling for tertiary study the convenience of owning a car (and a new one at that) will soon be a reality with bravo going to Tata.
Will there be a need to steal or hijack this vehicle - I think not as at the price it allows for greater ownership of a new vehicle. I am almost certain that running costs (including maintenance of the car) would also be substantially reduced.
As far as road congestion is concerned, the problems lie more with ageing infrastructure (based on capacity) rather than the number of cars. Better alternatives to ease the congestion need to be investigated.
I think it's brilliant and would be great here instead of more and more huge 4x4's. This is a sensible town car and will get man the chance to be mobile even if just at weekends, assuming govt gets its act together on public transport.
I'm sure they will be much safer than the dreaded taxis.
Interestingly, just over 50 years ago, Fiat did exactly the same thing for the same reason and in a very similar format with the Fiat 500, getting people off scooters, super economical and very basic, but it motorised a nation.
I say bring them in. The country has enough money to invest in improving/widening our roads/highways or even building new ones. Every licensed driver deserves to have an economical, reliable and safe vehicle, more especially because we don't have good public transport.
Why not introduce a really affordable vehicle? Most of South Africa is spending its entire salary on mortgages and vehicle finance payments. The interest rate keeps rising so more and more South Africans are finding themselves in dire straights financially. This could be a solution to and an answer to many people's prayers.
Bring them on Tata, South Africa is waiting!
I think the state's first priority is to implement a viable, reliable, efficient and cheap public transport system - I'm hoping for real large buses, not mini or midis.
On the other hand, the entry of the Nano to the local market should be encouraged - everyone deserves an affordable, safe car.
Mohsin Wadee, Johannesburg
All's fair in love and war - so why not the car industry (are we or are we not a capitalist country?)! I think the biggest threat is not how many cars but rather illegal driving licences - and no under-18's on the road!!
Book me one if they are imported!
What a strange concept where the size of the vehicle market should be governed by the availability of road infrastructure. If we spent more money on refurbishment and new roads instead of spending millions renaming them we might get somewhere.
While we are exploring this exercise in lunacy let's also limit the sale of electrical appliances until Eskom catches up. Are we striving to become the world's leading comic act or is this childlike simplistic thinking just a natural phenomenon?
Rajendra Pachauri heads the UN's climate panel that won the 2007 Nobel Prize. He believes: "This represents a bankruptcy of policy as far as transport options are concerned."
How does he set the example? By not having a (more expensive and more polluting) car?
It's time the "haves" stop prescribing their policies to the "have nots". Assuming education and information symmetry, ever imagined what the "have nots'"
policies would look like?
Let free market and democratic principles prevail as the best workable solution.
Cheap cars should be allowed in South Africa - the roads are already congested, with or without cheap cars. The biggest problem (my view) is not the cheapies but the overloaded vehicles that travel at 60km/h on highways and national roads.
Unroadworthy vehicles are another concern. They should at least have serviceable shocks and tyres and brakes that work first time. Many people would prefer going to work and back, drop the children at school and pop out to the supermarket in a cheapie.