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Nano engineers to move out from next week

Sohini Das in Kolkata | October 07, 2008 09:23 IST

Tata Motors Ltd [Get Quote] will start moving its engineers out of Kolkata in about a week's time.

The company had started test runs for engines at its Pune facility in September after it work was stopped indefinitely at its Singur plant from August 29, leading to the abandoning of the Singur project site on October 3.

Another TML team was working at the Pantnagar plant in Uttarakhand on the outer shell of the car.  These combined efforts were expected to make up for the workdays lost in Singur.

Engineers, so long working at Singur, were expected start leaving in batches for either Pune or Pantnagar starting from mid-October.

A core team would remain at the TML Kolkata offices to supervise the movement of equipment out of Singur, according to sources in the company.

The Kolkata team was likely to coordinate with vendors and work on the timeline for launch from anew locations with the learnings from the Singur project site.

The company could manufacture engines at its Pune facility while the rest of the car could be assembled at Pantnagar till a new mother plant was set up.

TML was expected to decide on the alternate location for the new mother plant. 

Since September, a team of engineers had been working on a feasibility report to roll out the Nano from the alternate mother plant facility.

While the Tata Nano team had worked earlier from Pune, the Pantnagar plant was the chosen location for a Nano motherplant before the Tata's zeroed in on Singur. 

TML's Uttarakhand plant now produced the Ace, a sub-one tonne truck, but it had the provision of adding another production line there as a make-shift arrangement. 

A team led by Girish Wagh, the head of the Tata Nano project, had developed the Ace earlier in 2005.

Experts  here pointed out that while the first Nanos could be rolled out from Pantnagar or its Pimpri facility, TML would only be able to produce a few hundred cars in the beginning.

This would be much lower than the initial planned capacity of 250,000 units at the Singur plant.

Leading vendors of TML like Exide Industries [Get Quote] confirmed that initial production is likely to be low and it would take at least six months to scale it up.

Announcing the decision to pull out from West Bengal, Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Sons, had said on October 3 that the company would try to be as close to the deadline as possible.


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