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Now Modi invites Ferrari to drive into Gujarat

Now Modi invites Ferrari to drive into Gujarat
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First Published: Fri, Dec 03 2010. 11 26 PM IST

Local presence: A file photo of Ferrari SpA cars on display in Abu Dhabi. A Ferrari executive said cars sporting the famous prancing horse logo will be launched next year in India.
Local presence: A file photo of Ferrari SpA cars on display in Abu Dhabi. A Ferrari executive said cars sporting the famous prancing horse logo will be launched next year in India.
Updated: Fri, Dec 03 2010. 11 26 PM IST
Ahmedabad: After getting Tata Motors Ltd to relocate its Nano small-car factory near Ahmedabad, Gujarat has now invited Ferrari SpA to build an assembly unit in the state.
Local presence: A file photo of Ferrari SpA cars on display in Abu Dhabi. A Ferrari executive said cars sporting the famous prancing horse logo will be launched next year in India.
Representatives of Italy’s iconic luxury sports car maker met Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of setting up a plant, according to a state government official familiar with the development.
“One of the possible locations that the government wants to show Ferrari is close to the Nano plant at Sanand, about 25km away from Ahmedabad,” the bureaucrat said, requesting anonymity. “The chief minister is projecting the area as the next auto destination of the country.”
A Ferrari executive declined to comment on the matter, but said cars sporting the famous prancing horse logo will be launched next year in India, which will make it the 58th nation where the brand is sold locally.
Founded by Enzo Ferrari in 1929 as Scuderia Ferrari, the company manufactured racing cars and sponsored drivers before producing street-legal cars as Ferrari SpA in 1947.
Indians who own Ferrari cars, which currently have to be imported, include cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, Tata group chairman Ratan Tata and UB Group chairman Vijay Mallya.
Tata Motors relocated its plant to produce Nano, the world’s cheapest car, from Singur in West Bengal to Sanand in 2008, because of protests by farmers over land acquisition.
Gujarat a few months ago declared Sanand as a special investment region that offers tax holidays and single-window clearances, among other benefits.
Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation has acquired land from farmers at market rates in Sanand to facilitate industries to hasten setting up industrial facilities in the area. Accusing Gujarat of starting a rat race by attracting industries from other states, Congress member of Parliament K.S. Alagiri this week sought the Central government’s intervention in stalling the reported moves of Ford India Pvt. Ltd and Hyundai Motor India Ltd to locate plants outside Tamil Nadu for expansion projects.
“We are in advanced stages of talks with Ford and they are also looking for land near Sanand. The discussion with Hyundai is at a very initial stage.” another state government official said. He, too, declined to be named.
“All the names of locations that are being mentioned at present are speculative,” Ford India president and managing director Michael Boneham told PTI last week. “We will announce when a decision is finalized.”
maulik.p@livemint.com
PTI contributed to this story.
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First Published: Fri, Dec 03 2010. 11 26 PM IST