Normally, PuneTech covers mostly software technology. However, today, we feel an exception is warranted. The Tata Nano, the world’s cheapest car, which could change the world, was designed entirely in Pune. On this occassion, Amit Paranjape, a proud Punekar (and also chief evangelist of PuneTech) wrote this article on his blog, about the achievements of Pune in automotive technology. It is reproduced on PuneTech with permission.
Today, India and possibly the entire automotive world commemorate the customer launch of the ‘Nano’ – the world’s cheapest car. The brainchild of the Indian corporate legend Ratan Tata is finally available to the Indian consumer. I am sure that the Nano will raise a whole bunch of debates around urban traffic-management issues; but today is not the time for those. Today is a time for celebration!
Pune too celebrates this historic occasion; but I am not sure how many Punekars realize the significance of Pune’s role in creating this and other automotive history in India.
The Nano was completely designed and developed at the Tata Motors facility in Pimpri-Chinchwad Pune. The initial manufacturing will also be carried out here.
Here’s a brief list of Pune’s key automotive achievement over the decades. (In each of these milestones, Pune has played a pivotal role)
- 1950s-60s: One of India’s earliest and most iconic automotive brands – Bajaj Scooter.
- 1970s: India’s first moped (quite literally a motorized, pedal-based cycle that ran on a tiny 50cc engine) Luna.
- 1970s: One of the first (and most successful) Auto Rickshaws: Bajaj Auto-Rickshaw.
- 1980s: Manufacturing of India’s first automatic (non-geared) scooter: Kinetic Honda.
- 1990s: India’s first fully indigenous car: Tata Indica.
- 2008-09: Launch of world’s cheapest car: Tata Nano.
You can also add the development of India’s most popular Truck-Line to this list. Pune also leads the nation in various automotive suppliers, ancillary units and industrial equipment.
- India’s biggest, one of the most innovative and world’s 2nd largest forging company – Bharat Forge has been at the forefront of this pack.
- India’s largest Diesel Engines & Generator Manufacturer – Cummins has been active in Pune’s industrial landscape since the 1960s.
Research and Software for Automotive Engineering also have strong presence in Pune.
- It’s no coincidence that all major global CAD/CAM software and services companies have significant presence in Pune: Ansys, AutoDesk, Catia, Geometric, PTC and UGS-Siemens. I doubt if there’s any city in the world that has the presence of all these entities! (See all PuneTech articles about Computer Aided Design at http://punetech.com/tag/CAD -ed)
- ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India) based in Pune, is the premier automotive research institute in India, that is responsible for research and testing & certification of every vehicle model on Indian roads.
I am confident that in the coming decades, Pune will continue to innovate and be at the forefront of automotive engineering in India, and the world.
So now remember – next time you see a Nano on Pune Streets (traffic jams not withstanding), it is as ‘Puneri’ as the ‘Puneri Pagdi’ or ‘Chitale Bakarwadi’!
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