ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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From 50 Years Ago: Small Cars.

Weekly Note from Volume XI, No 21, May 23, 1959.

Shri Mahindra also welcomed the appointment of the Jha Committee to examine the possibility of producing a more economic car for the common man. Such a car must obviously be a low cost car and not necessarily a smaller car. It is being contended that there is no need to start the production of another car which would satisfy low price requirements, since the production of any such car within the country would necessarily have a powerful impact on the present producers of small cars. It is being suggested, therefore, that steps should be taken to bring down the price of any one of the small car models now being produced within the country, so that it may fall within the range of Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,000 which has been suggested for the new car. Shri Mahindra had evidently not considered this possibility at all. He, therefore, spoke of this problem as if it implied the introduction of an additional model into the market.

In any case, it is difficult to accept Shri Mahindra’s suggestion that Government should think of licensing the import of about 2,000 small cars of the make approved for manufacture within the country. It is true that this would relieve the pressure on the prices of vehicles to some extent, but this might not happen if there is really a large potential demand for cars at the lower price level. ...Whatever the difficulties caused by the non-availability of small cars within the country, no case can be made out for the import of a large number of cars at this stage.

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