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Sanand all set to roll out Tata Nano

Last updated on: June 2, 2010 19:41 IST

Sanand all set to roll out Tata Nano

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Tata Motors on Wednesday opened its brand new plant here, set up at a cost of Rs 2,000 crore (Rs 20 billion) to manufacture the Rs 100,000 Nano.

The new plant at Sanand was inaugurated by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata, who seven years ago dreamt of making an affordable family car for the common man.

Inaugurating the facility, spread over about 1,100 acres, Modi said it cost him Re 1 to have the plant in the state.

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Image: Ratan Tata (L), chairman of the Tata Group, and Gujarat's chief minister Narendra Modi wave as they stand beside the Tata Nano car during the inauguration ceremony of a new plant at Sanand.
Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters
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"When Ratan Tata said in a press conference in Kolkata that they are leaving West Bengal, I sent him an SMS saying welcome to Gujarat, he said, adding that "and now you can see what a Re 1 (worth) SMS can do."

In October 2008, Tata Motors abandoned plans for setting up the Nano manufacturing plant in Singur following fierce opposition from the locals with protests spearheaded by Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee.

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Image: Employees work inside the newly inaugurated plant for the Tata Nano car at Sanand.
Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters
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Sanand all set to roll out Tata Nano

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As it searched for a new site, the company started limited production of Nano -- touted as the world's cheapest car with a factory gate price of Rs 100,000 (little over $2,000) -- from its Pantnagar plant in Uttarakhand.

Modi welcomed the Tatas to his state, offering express clearance to the project, land et al.

Tata said when he first came to Gujarat on an industry visit, invited by the Gujarat chief minister, he was told that if it (the Nano plant) was not in Gujarat, it will be 'stupid'.

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Image: Assembly plant in the Nano factory.
Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters
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Sanand all set to roll out Tata Nano

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 "I am no longer a stupid after investing on the plant in Gujarat," Tata said while inaugurating the plant.

Modi said the revolution brought by Ford in the early 20th century with its small car is being replicated now by Ratan Tata with his Nano.

The Sanand facility has the capacity to manufacture 250,000 units annually, which can subsequently be increased to 500,000 units per annum. Pilot commercial production of Nano at Sanand has already begun.

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Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters
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Sanand all set to roll out Tata Nano

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Ever since the idea of making a car costing only Rs 100,000 was conceived way back in 2003 by Ratan Tata, his dream had to face many challenges.

At a time when input costs were soaring, keeping the cost of production of a comfortable mini car powered by a 623cc engine giving a competitive mileage, was a big challenge for the engineers of Tata Motors.

Opposition to setting up Nano plant at Singur delayed not only the original plans for the commercial launch of Nano by about five months, but also affected its availability.

Tatas have so far delivered over 35,000 units of Nano.


Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters
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