After a controversial stay in West Bengal, Tatas on Tuesday shifted their Rs 1-lakh car Nano project to Sanand near Ahmedabad at an investment of Rs 2,000 crore (Rs 20 billion), delcaring that efforts will be made to roll out the world's cheapest car from a make-shift plant to meet the deadline.
"This is an extremely momentous and happy day for us because we have been through a rather sad experience from a small quarter of residents of West Bengal despite the state government's efforts," Tata Group Chief Ratan Tata said at a joint press conference with Cheif Minister Narendra Modi. The MoU was signed by Tata Motors Managing Director Ravi Kant and Industrial Secretary Gouri Kumar.
Praising Modi for speedy allocation of about 1,100 acres of centrally located land, Tata said that the company had a great deal of urgency in having a new location and was driven by the reputation of the state.
"The site in Gujarat, already under the possession of the state government, will help Tata Motors establish a new dedicated mother plant with the shortest possible time lag and least possible increment project cost," he said.
Together with Tata Motors, about 60 vendors would also move to the new location. Asked about the over-all deal offered by the Gujarat government, Tata said, "it is as good as or slightly better than the one we had previously (in West Bengal)."
Gujarat was one of many states in the race for Nano car manufacturing facility. Welcoming Tatas, the chief minister said, "Tatas and Gujarat have started a new chapter of partnership which will give a new direction and dimension to the state. "After the Nano car project, Gujarat will make an important place in surface transport."
To begin with, Tata Motors would produce 2.5-3 lakh (250,000-300,000) cars annually and the capaicty is expandable up to 5 lakh (500,000) cars per annum, Tata said.
When asked about the timing of launching Nano, Tata said, "It will be our endeavour to be close to the timeline so that we can keep our promise."
Image: The new Tata Nano. | Photograph: Raveendran/AFP/Getty Images
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