Nano Drives into Gujarat

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Oct. 8 – Orphaned by the state of West Bengal, Tata Motor's found a new home for the Rs 1 lakh (US$2,100) car in India's Western State of Gujarat. The states' connectivity by both road and sea as well as vendour proximity make Gujarat an ideal state for the Nano.

Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist who has promoted his state as an investment destination, wooed the project with an offer of 1,000 acres (440 hectares) of land and a promise of no labour strikes.

"The Nano project was conceived as something that would provide affordable transport to a vast number of Indian families. I want the plant built in the shortest period of time", Tata Motors Chairman Ratan Tata said while signing the deal in Gujarat.

No official date has been set for the roll-out of the first Nano car but its makers were originally aiming for this month or December at the latest.

Tata announced late last week it was pulling the project out of West Bengal, even though the plant it had been constructing near Kolkata was 90 percent complete.

The decision followed a month of violent demonstrations by activists and evicted farmers who complained they had been forced to give up their land for a pittance to make room for the high-profile factory.

Tata Motors expects to manufacture 4 lakh cars per annum from the Nano mother plant. About 50% of the cars would be exported to the US and the European markets.