Tata Nano, the world’s cheapest car has had a memorable drive from Singur to Sanand and it is Tata Motors who is having the last laugh as the mass production of the car will finally start at its new unit at Sanand in Gujarat from today.
For those who came in late… Tata Motors were forced to shift the manufacturing plant of its dream car over a land row in Singur, West Bengal to Sanand in Gujarat nearly a couple of years ago. Tata Motors had first chosen Singur to set up the mother plant for Ratan Tata’s dream car and poured over Rs 1,000 crore for the purpose. But all thanks to the inefficiency of the West Bengal Government and political highhandedness running amock in the Red state, Tata had to pull out of the site in October 2008 amidst violent protest over land acquisition.
Not to be grounded with this development, Tata began scouting for a new site to produce the Nano while they started a limited production of the car with a factory gate price of Rs 100,000 – from its Pantnagar plant in Himachal Pradesh. Bookings for the Nano opened in March 2009 and deliveries began in July 2009. Tata Motors have so far delivered over 35,000 units of the car. However, only the first 100,000 customers are assured of getting the car at an ex-factory price of Rs 100,000.
The state of Gujarat rolled out the red carpet for the production of Tata Nano, allotting land to the tune of about 1,100 acres in Sanand paving way for the dream of Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata to become a reality. Ratan Tata’s dream of making an affordable family car for the common man had finally come close to fruction after seven long years after the idea was conceptualized.
Tata Motors’ new facility at Sanand has been created at the cost of approximately Rs 2,000 crore and can churn out 2.5 lakh units annually, which can subsequently be increased to 5 lakh units per annum. Tata Motors has set aside a significant chunk of land for over 35 odd vendors who will be working very closely to adhere to Just in time supply process for Tata Motors which help the company keep cost low and operations efficient. With Sanand plant going on stream the supply issue is sure to be sorted out not only for the next couple of years but may be for the entire decade.
It has been touted by sources that the Sanand plant is one of the finest automotive plants in the country.It is so highly automated that Tata Motors plans to manufacture “One Nano a minute” within a year’s time. The company will not only be able to deliver its quota of 1 lakh Nanos by December but also churn out a total of 350,000 Nanos in the next couple of years which will include the Nano diesel and the Nano Europa. Pilot commercial production of Nano at Sanand has already begun.
The new plant at Sanand will be inaugurated by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata today. The inauguration of this plant is critical as the new permanent base will churn out more number of Nanos than the Pantnagar plant which was till now just an interim arrangement.
Since the inception of the idea of an affordable car for common people by Tata, many other auto makers have mooted out ideas and concepts of their own one-lakh cars – Bajaj Renault and General Motors to name two but Tata Motors still has the first mover advantage in the segment. The Tata Nano can be a big global success provided it sticks to its value proposition.