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Before Nano, India Had Made ‘Meera’ A Car At Just Rs 12,000

| Published on December 24, 2018

It’s still a very fresh memory in the minds of Indians, the Tata Nano car. It was said to be the first car made as an appealing product to the masses, selling at ₹1,00,000, in India.

Error in Knowledge

There is one major error in what we know. It was way back in the 20th century that India has taken a step towards a similar ancestor to the Nano car.

The real beginning

Shankarrao Kulkarni, a businessman in the latter half of the 20th century had a similar wish like the Tatas. In Fact, his price point target was only ₹ 12000.

‘Meera’ – A work in progress

The name Meera came into existence in 1970. It was the last car model of a minicar that was produced. The registration number was MHE 192 and was driven by Mr. Kulkarni himself.

The end of the road

By 1975, Mr. Kulkarni had driven down Meera to Mumbai, to start his own manufacturing unit. However, the central government did not allow him to continue. Meera could never become a Commercial success. There were possible reasons for this –
1) The entry of Suzuki in the Market was in the books.
2) Red tape and Bureaucracy
3) No payment of excise duty did not allow the cars to be on the road
4) Heavy investment of around 50 Lakhs was already done, Mr. Kulkarni could not continue it without Government support.

Moreover, Tatas took that dream forward. In fact, it is claimed that both Meera and Nano had similar features as a single viper, rear engine and seating capacity.

However, today, it is the end of the road for Nano as well. The production has stopped and the car is only made to rare orders.

Maybe, someday in the future, India’s dream of having a long-term adorable car production unit running, would be fulfilled.

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