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Cars in India, Cars in Hong Kong – Nanos & Tesla

Saturday, 15 October 2016

IMG_0612 - Tata Nano in Ratnagiri - 540▲ Tata Nano in Ratnagiri

The Tata Nano launched in India in 2008 with the aim of being the world’s most affordable car. The tiny two cylinder 624 cc vehicle was going to get people off their family motorcycles (typically carrying husband, wife and several children) and on to four wheels at a cost of one lakh. A lakh is 100,000 rupees and at the time that was around US$1000. Not many one lakh Nanos were sold, in fact not many Nanos were sold at all.

IMG_0610 - Tata Nano in Ratnagiri. - 540
Today the starting price is more like two lakh (although the rupee has fallen so that’s around US$3000), but it seems when people in India have gone to all the effort of saving enough money to buy a car they’d rather buy something bigger than a Nano. On my recent visit to India I hardly saw a Nano on the street in Mumbai. Away from the big cities in towns like Ratnagiri, however, there seemed to be plenty of Nanos around, looking very good in bright orange as well.

IMG_0789 - Tesla in Hong Kong - 540▲ Tesla Model S in Hong Kong Central

I went from India to Hong Kong where, in between doing my bit to keep Donald Trump down, I was amazed how many Model S Teslas I saw on the streets. Partly it’s a result of the Hong Kong government offering huge tax incentives to encourage electric cars. You can drive off in a Tesla for around HK$600,000 – that’s about US$80,000 – way less than the equivalent Mercedes Benz or BMW would cost you.

IMG_0783 - Tesla in Hong Kong - 540
Not that there aren’t lots of German luxwagons in Hong Kong, but I used to muse if there were enough camera buyers to buy all the cameras in Hong Kong shops. Well can Tesla turn out enough cars to satisfy all the Hong Kong Tesla customers?


IMG_0612 - Tata Nano in Ratnagiri - 540

Cars in India, Cars in Hong Kong – Nanos & Tesla

15 October 2016 | Transport

▲ Tata Nano in Ratnagiri The Tata Nano launched in India in 2008 with the aim of being the world’s most affordable car. The tiny two cylinder 624 cc vehicle was going to get people off their family motorcycles (typically carrying husband, wife and several children)...

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IMG_0349 - Tungabhadra coracles 540

Hampi in India – take 2

9 October 2016 | Places

This is my second Hampi report, following the earlier account of a visit to the Chandramauleshwara Temple. I only had two days in Hampi, there’s so much to see another day or two would have worked very well. ▲ In the Royal Enclosure the imposing Mahnavami Dibba pla...

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IMG_0211 - Hazararama Temple 270

Hampi in India – take 1

7 October 2016 | Places

I’ve reported on my visit to Global Heritage Fund’s Chandramauleshwara Temple at Hampi and how pleased I was to finally get to this wonderful temple-studded abandoned city in southern India. So here’s a random selection of images from my recent visit. I’ll post some m...

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Discontent & its Civilisations

Discontent & its Civilizations

5 October 2016 | Media

I seriously liked Mohsin Hamid’s novel How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia and although I’ve not read his other two novels – The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Moth Smoke – I have just read Discontent & Its Civilizations, a collection of ‘Dispatches from Lahore, N...

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IMG_0303 - Chandramauleshwara Temple turn-off - 540

Visiting the Chandramauleshwara Temple in Hampi

5 October 2016 | Places

For years I’ve been meaning to visit Hampi, the extensive city of temple ruins in the state of Karnataka. It’s an overnight train trip from the southern metropolis of Bangalore or a slightly shorter trip from Goa on the coast, the difficulties of getting there perhaps...

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IMG_0639 - Ganesh Chaturthi - 540

Ganesh Chaturthi

2 October 2016 | Culture

My recent visit to Ratnagiri, following the sad story of King Thibaw’s long spell in exile, concluded with the last day of Ganesh Chaturthi, the 10-day birthday party for the elephant-headed Hindu God of Wisdom. ▲ As a finale images of the God are carried down to t...

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IMG_0548 - Thibaw Palace - 540

Ratnagiri & King Thibaw

30 September 2016 | Places

Aung San Suu Kyi wasn’t the first Burmese leader to spend a long time under house arrest. The 100th anniversary of the death of King Thibaw, the last ruler of the Kingdom of Burma, arrives on 19 December 2016. King Thibaw endured 30 years of exile in Ratnagiri after h...

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IMG_0780 - Cursing Granny, villain hitting - 270

Cursing Grannies: A Chinese Fix for Trump

26 September 2016 | Culture

Last week I discovered the best HK$50 (A$8, US$6.50, £5, €6) buy in Hong Kong. The cursing grannies. They hang out under the Canal Rd Underpass in Wan Chai: For your HK$50 they will curse and hit any villain you care to suggest. Your horrible boss, your cheating...

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IMG_8327 - Barbican Centre - 270

The Barbican & Brutalism

25 August 2016 | Culture

Brutalism in Britain is often seen as post-World War II architecture at its worst. A period of heavy, foreboding, grey, often sinister looking buildings, a style at its peak in the ‘60s. No British buildings better symbolize the Brutalist movement than the Barbican Es...

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IMG_8210 - Son Forca-Forcella Staunies chairlift - 540

Cortina in the Dolomites

24 August 2016 | Places

◄ Cortina – one of those very swish-looking Italian alpine towns, a place that simply looks expensive! It was the last stop on my recent France and Italy circuit. Way back in 1971 on the first Europe trip Maureen and I ever made we camped just north of Cortina in D...

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