Indian business tycoon showered with praise for country’s cheapest car

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Ratan Tata, one of India’s top industrialists, has been applauded on social media for traveling in the country’s cheapest car.

The 84-year-old Tata Group Chairman Emeritus was seen leaving the iconic Taj hotel in the city of Mumbai in a personalized electric Tata Nano.

Video released by paparazzo Viral Bhayani on Tuesday showed Mr Tata leaving the hotel in the car driven by his personal assistant Shantanu Naidu. He was also seen traveling without bodyguards.

Netizens were quick to praise Mr Tata, who is known to be a generous and down-to-earth person.

“Hats off… Ratan i… You are truly a gem [more] precious than the diamond. I admire your simplicity,” Twitter user Annaji Sekhar wrote.

Author Srijan Pal Singh, who called Mr. Tata the epitome of humility, wrote: “Ratan Tata visits the Taj Hotel in Tata Nano without bodyguards. He goes in for a dinner without any VVIP treatment. Saluting simplicity and humility.

Considered the cheapest car in the world, the Nano was launched by Mr Tata’s group in 2009 to much fanfare, but it ceased production in 2019 following a sharp drop in demand.

With the burgeoning middle class as its target audience, the car was priced at Rs 100,000 (£1,035).

The customized Nano was reportedly gifted to Mr Tata by an electric vehicle powertrain solutions company, Electra EV.

Mr Tata wrote on Instagram last week that the Nano was “always for all our people”.

“What really motivated me and sparked the desire to produce such a vehicle was constantly seeing Indian families on scooters, perhaps the child sandwiched between mother and father, going everywhere where they were going, often on slippery roads,” he wrote.

Describing the conceptualization of the jelly bean-shaped car, he added: “One of the benefits of being in architecture school, it taught me how to doodle when I was free.”

“At first we were trying to figure out how to make two wheelers safer, the doodles became four wheels, no windows, no doors, just a basic buggy,” he said, adding: “But I finally decided it should be a car.”

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