Usually, luxury cars are measured by taking into account the benefits that they have in terms of power, comfort, elegance, technology and resulting impact on the bewildered bystanders. However, the Indian firm Tatacar, introduced a luxury car model with which, presumably, no rapper would dare to pose in his next music video. We are talking about the Nano Gold Plus, the Tata car gold valued at no more and no less than 3.4 million euros.
Until it decided to don the favourite metal of most Indians, gold, it was the world’s cheapest car. But, what went in as a $ 2000 Tata Nano emerged as a $4.7 million wonder, leaving most Indians gasping with awe.
Goldplus, a jewellery brand from Titan Industries, a Tata group company, unveiled the world’s first-ever gold jewellery car in Mumbai, in a rare honour in praise of the 5,000 years of Indian Jewellery tradition and craftsmanship.
Three years after the initial launch of the Nano, the chairman of India’s second largest industrial group, Ratan Tata showcased what may likely be the world’s most expensive car – a 22 carat gold, jewel and ruby encrusted wonder.
The Tata group has interests in steel, (Tata Steel became the sixth largest steel maker in the world after it acquired Corus) and automobiles, (Tata Motors is among the top five commercial vehicle manufacturers in the world and recently acquired Jaguar and Land Rover) among seven other business sectors.
According to C K Venkataraman, chief operating officer, “The idea was very simple. Through this effort we wanted to showcase the expertise of diverse Indian jewellery-making proficiency. Nothing could have been better than a Tata Nano, as there is a perfect synergy between the two brands that cater to the common man.”
Termed a `golden chariot’ by its owners, 30 artists from GoldPlus were employed to decorate the tiny car in 80 kilos of 22 carat gold, 15 kilo of silver and 10,000 semi precious stones and gems.
“Paying homage to 5,000 years of jewellery tradition in India, we created the world’s first gold jewellery car incorporating a variety of techniques,” said Bhaskar Bhat, managing director of Titan Industries.
In all, 14 different jewellery-making techniques were used to represent the diverse and culturally distinct jewellery practices across India.
“Since eternity [sic], jewellery made with gold and precious stones has been an integral part of the Indian woman’s life. Jewellery for Indians is an embodiment of culture and tradition and so over the years, craftsmen have meticulously used their unmatched skills to showcase this in their designs. Our brand Goldplus aims to offer a wide range of beautifully crafted jewellery with traditional and intricate designs,” Bhat added.
Incidentally, this is not the first time the company has decided to put its best foot forward and show that their products are indeed worth their weight in gold. In 2008, Goldplus manufactured a giant gold bangle that measured six feet in diameter and brought in 300,000 visitors when it was taken on tour of Goldplus stores around the country.
There are 29 Goldplus stores across five states of India. The Tata group and Goldplus intend to take the Goldplus Nano car on a nationwide tour across all Goldplus stores for the next six months.
Billionaire Ratan Tata – who recently bought Jaguar Land Rover to add to his collection of auto firms – ordered the one-off design to celebrate the strength of his country’s growing wealth and mark its cultural history.
The truly ornamental asset has precious and semi precious stones including rubies, pearls, emeralds, and the black beads worn by Hindu brides to ward off the evil eye. It has intricate filigree work and traditional Indian embroidery work on metal – Meenakari work (enamel), kundan (foil-backed stone setting) and naqashi (gold chasing) work, all of which represents the diverse and culturally distinct jewellery techniques from across the nation.
“Around 500 years from now, it would be quite a family heirloom, wouldn’t it,” chirped Venkataraman.
Sadly, the gold version of the car is not for sale and would serve only as a memento, company officials said.
The lifestyle and jewellery arm of the Tata Group, Titan Industries, spent $5.38 million in raw materials to create the gold plated Nano. The company has plans for spending $41.43 million for expansion next fiscal and hopes to close this fiscal with a top line of about $18.64 billion (Rs 9000 crore).