Tata Nano will roll out of Pantnagar by June, say vendors

Tata Nano will roll out of Pantnagar by June, say vendors

Mumbai: Tata Motors Ltd will roll out the first batch of its low-cost Tata Nano car from the company’s Pantnagar plant in Uttarakhand in the first half of 2009, said three suppliers present at the company’s national vendors conference where they said the plans were announced.

Tata Motors may initially make 50,000 units in Pantnagar, where it will initially only assemble the car. The engines are likely to be manufactured at its Pune facility, the vendors said.

The auto maker’s original plan was to manufacture 250,000 cars a year and ramp it up to 500,000 units from Singur in West Bengal.

All the vendors quoted in the story asked not to be identified because of a confidentiality clause in their contracts with Tata Motors.

The company had earlier planned to launch the Nano by the end of the year, before it pulled out from Singur due to protests over land acquisition and decided to relocate the plant to Sanand in Gujarat.

The vendors, who were among 300-odd invitees at the conference in Mumbai on 16 October, said the company informed them of its launch programme and other plans.

Debasis Ray, head of corporate communications at Tata Motors, declined to comment on the launch or divulge other details. He only said, “It was a general discussion on company’s long-term strategy. The meets between the company and its vendors happenevery year."

The vendors mentioned earlier said Tata Motors had to trim its initial production volume as the factory in Sanand may take a year or more to be ready for production. The process for allotting 1,100 acres of land in Sanand will be completed by the end of this month, they said.

Tata Motors currently makes its mini-truck Ace and its variants in Pantnagar.

On a compensation package for vendors who had invested in Singur, Ray said, “Yes, we did arrive at a conclusion but it’s internal to the company and can’t be disclosed."

It’s is not clear whether the losses by parts suppliers would be compensated by Tata Motors or the West Bengal government.

“Tata Motors has asked us to give an account of the investments made in Singur, post which it will play an instrumental role in ensuring that we are adequately compensated," said another vendor who attended the conference.

“The company is likely to firm up guidelines for claiming compensation from (the) West Bengal government once it has consolidated account of all the expenditure," said another supplier.

The subject of revision of price targets was also brought up in the conference. “They said (they) will try and resolve the related concerns," said a vendor who maintained the company was likely to adhere to its Rs1 lakh price tag.

The day-long gathering was addressed by Ravi Kant, managing director of the company, and other senior officials, the vendors said.