Despite slowdown in auto and other sectors due to the global financial turmoil, Tata Motors is now seeking more land for expanding its Pantnagar manufacturing facility from where it wants to roll out the first small car, the Nano.
Official sources said that top company officials recently met Uttarakhand Chief Minister BC Khanduri and demanded 35 acres of additional land for expanding the facility. Earlier, the company had sought 55 acres of land at Pantnagar for housing purpose. The government is yet to take a decision in this regard.
The sources said the automobile major is planning to build a railyard at Pantnagar, which would be linked to nearby railway track. The company has also assured the chief minister that it would launch the first Nano from Pantnagar itself. However, no date has been given in this regard. Tata Motors is currently manufacturing Ace truck from Pantnagar.
In addition to this, the company officials also said a total of 50,000 cars can be manufactured from the Pantnagar facility every year. When contacted, Principal Secretary (industrial development) PC Sharma also confirmed that Tata Motors wants to expand its Pantnagar facility.
The commercial launch of the car has already been postponed by at least two to three months and the rollout is now expected to take place by the end of this financial year. The postponement is mainly due to the Singur fiasco and the global slowdown, the sources said.
The company has conducted test-runs of various prototypes of the new car at Pantnagar during the past few months.
Tata Motors, which had planned to roll out its first Nano from the key Pantnagar industrial estate, is intending to set up a permanent manufacturing unit.
Although, the mother unit of the car would be set up in Gujarat where the company has recently got 1,100 acres of land, the company is also planning to manufacture Nano from its Pune facility along with Pantnagar.