Expanding Market Share One Car at a Time

5/26/2009 Uncategorized

Tata, the maker of the $2000 Nano car is breaking into the housing industry with a number of VERY small units that range in size from 218 SF to 373 SF.  The units will cost between $7,800 to $13,400 each and are to target the suburban outer ring of Mumbai and other major cities in India. Although I am not very familiar with Mumbai, it’s housing needs, or it’s demographics, I am all for trying to address affordability issues though market rate means. Poor graphics aside, these units seem difficult at best to occupy.  I say this based not so much on size but more on the fact that they are trying to take a more traditional post war unit plan and simply scale it down by 50%. I would think if you are going to re-pose the question of a living unit through the limitations of +/-300 SF you would want to rethink most if not all spatial and programmatic relationships.

I am assuming that these are intended to be pre-fabricated since an auto maker is proposing the concept, although Tata is not advertising the mode of production. What I really find interesting about this particular venture is that a car company is trying to develop suburban housing typologies that when aggregated will create more demand for their cars. The master plan and aerial are in no way attempting to plug into any larger urban condition and notice the prominence of the garages in the renderings!