08 January 2008

Mumbai, Madonna and the $2,500 Car

Madonna & Guy Ritchie randomly ambled through Mumbai's crowded Ambedkar Nagar slums and visited the well-known Chor Bazaar flea market in India's financial capital during a holiday with her family. Now that's a serious bootleg handbag mission!

Madonna, Guy Ritchie and their three children arrived in Mumbai yesterday morning, arriving by chartered plane.

Most of the locals had never seen a plane before and assumed it was a U.F.O. or some sort of spaceship. Therefore they thought Madonna and her family were aliens.

The Ritchie Family flew in from from the historic city of Udaipur, India, where they spent New Year's Eve.

Madonna then stopped for a roadside meal of Misal Pav (bread and spicy white peas).

Meanwhile, Tata Motors of India will introduce its ultra-cheap car this Thursday.

The company has kept its new vehicle under wraps, but interviews with suppliers and others involved in its construction reveal some of its cost-cutting engineering secrets — including a hollowed out steering-wheel shaft, a trunk with space for just a briefcase and a rear-mounted engine not much more powerful than a high-end riding mower.

The upside is a car expected to retail for as little as the equivalent of $2,500, or about the price of the optional DVD player on the Lexus LX 470.

“It’s basically throwing out everything the auto industry had thought about cost structures in the past and taking out a clean sheet of paper and asking, ‘What’s possible?’” said Daryl Rolley, head of North American and Asian operations for Ariba, which helps supply parts to Tata, BMW, Toyota and other carmakers. “In the next five to 10 years, the whole auto industry is going to be flipped upside down.”
Wait a minute... Did he just say his company supplies parts for the $2,500 car with the rear-mounted engine not much more powerful than a high-end riding mower as well parts for Toyota and BMW? HA!

Read the article here

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