World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick has expressed his fascination for the world’s cheapest car the Tata Nano, even as he cited infrastructure as the major bottleneck for the country’s growth.
“I got into the car. I tried the back seats and the front seats, saw the engine. That’s a very impressive product,” he said about his encounter with the world’s cheapest car at Road Transport and Highways Minister Kamal Nath’s house here.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, the final day of his four-day visit to the country, Zoellick said he is amazed with the frugal manufacturing made possible by Indian companies and that it shows signs of strength of India Inc.
“The low end is selling for about USD 2,000. I mean, that’s a very well engineered product and that’s a sign of something,” he said. “Probably, most people in the car industry thought it couldn’t have been done,” he added.
For a country that has been witnessing contraction in its exports for the last 13 months in a row since the fall of Lehman Brothers last year, small, fuel-efficient cars are among the few that are registering a rise in exports.
Even the recent turnaround in the USD 1.2-trillion economy with the second quarter GDP growth clocking 7.9 per cent was led by the manufacturing sector that grew by 9.2 per cent against 5.1 per cent in the year-ago quarter.