President's Report - April 2009

Greetings All,

Last month I took a quick trip to India and the day after I arrived, the world's cheapest car, the Tata Nano, was officially launched in Mumbai. The Nano is powered by a 2-cylinder 624 cc petrol engine coupled to a 4-speed gearbox and is said to have a top speed of 105 km/hour and 23.6 km/litre fuel efficiency.

The four-door, 3.1 metre long car is also said to comfortably seat 4 adults, though I suspect not adults of my height (1.92 m). It is referred to in India as the "1 lakh car" because it will sell for 100,000 rupees (just under US$2,000) and 1 lakh = 100,000. Production is set to reach 350,000 units per year when a new production plant comes on line in 2010. However, until then, supply will be very limited and potential buyers will have to submit application forms with a lottery to decide which applicants are successful. Indian roads are already crowded with all manner of motor vehicles and the Nano will only serve to increase traffic volumes, not to mention the increased noise of already loud and overused car horns.

Sadly, in four trips to India I have never seen a Peugeot, though I gather that a number of Indian-made Tata vehicles have Peugeot or Peugeot-copy engines under the bonnet. Unfortunately, I succumbed to the dreaded "Delhi Belly" while in India and the resultant stomach/bowel infection has persisted, despite medication, for more than 3 weeks after my return. A very unpleasant, but effective, weight loss program that I did not need!! Just as well I had already decided not to go to the Easter Pageant in south-east Queensland - I was simply not well enough to attend.

However, I am hoping to have made a sufficient recovery to attend our next club night - 8 pm at the Canberra Services Club on Tuesday 28 April (7 pm for those wishing to join us for dinner at the club beforehand. Hope to see you there.

Keep on Pugging,

Brad Pillans

Picture of India