Recently, I told you the BBC and the Age reported the Air Car would be released this year. After reading an article in the Mumbai Mirror, I am little concerned about Tata Motors making that release date. In the Mumbai Mirror article, Debasis Ray, head of corporate communications for Tata Motors said the Air Car won't be ready for "nearly two years." Here is the full quote:
When contacted, Tata Motors' Debasis Ray, who heads the company's corporate communications said: "The Air Car still requires nearly two years of work, to refine its technology." He added that the company would only discuss the price point for the vehicle, and its launch date after Tata Motors is ready to launch the car into the market.
The article does say MDI has "already signed 50 factories in Europe, America and Asia" and MDI's Guy Negre is "happy with" the agreement with Tata Motors. Also, the Mumbai Mirror article's focus was on a possible release of the Air Car in India. So, Debasis may have meant work needed to be done to make the car fit for the Indian market. So, it's possible Tata saying MDI needs two years of work doesn't mean a delay in the overall program, I guess.
Then again, it could mean the Air Car is going to be late. No insult intended to Indian standards but why would a car be released in the EU and Australia, then need two years of work so it can be released in India? The real reason for my concern is I assumed a release date of this year was based largely on MDI's relationship with Tata. Now that is in question and I have real doubts about a release. Why do I have doubts about a release without Tata?
In January 2004, CNN said the MDI team "hoped" the Air Car would be "rolled out by the end of 2004" (check it out at 4:25 into the video above). Is a 2008 release just more hope?
[Source: Mumbai Mirror]