Nearly two years after it was forced to shift the manufacturing plant of its dream car over a land row in West Bengal, Tata Motors will start the production of Tata Nano from its new unit at Sanad in Gujarat on Wednesday.
The new plant at Sanand will be 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.
Spread over an area of about 1,100 acres, the new facility has been created at the cost of approximately Rs 2,000 crore (Rs 20 billion).
Tata Motors, which first chose Singur in West Bengal for setting up the mother plant, pulled out of the site in October 2008 following violent protests over land acquisition. Tatas, by then, had already spent over Rs 1,000 crore (Rs 10 billion) in Singur.
As it searched for a new site, the company went ahead with 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 Himachal Pradesh. Bookings for the car opened in March 2009 and deliveries began in July that year.
It has so far delivered over 35,000 units. However, only the first 100,000 customers are assured of getting the car at an ex-factory price of Rs 100,000.
The Sanand facility has the capacity to manufacture 2,50,000 units annually, which can subsequently be increased to 5 lakh units per annum.
Pilot commercial production of Nano at Sanand has already begun. The European version of the car was unveiled in Geneva in March 2009.