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Ratan Tata struggles with setback to his People’s Car

Ratan N Tata, chairman of Tata Sons and Tata Motors, has revealed his extreme anguish at the unstable nature of India’s West Bengal state which has forced the family-owned business to relocate its manufacturing plant for the much heralded Tata Nano car.

The plant in West Bengal has been built up over the past two years but threats, intimidation and assault have led Tata to abandon the region in favour of Gujarat state. The company has directly accused local political parties for the heightened level of agitation and hostility.

This sharp about turn in Tata’s efforts give India the Nano – dubbed the People’s Car as it is the world’s cheapest – is a major boost to Gujarat given that Tata Motors aims to produce 250,000 cars per annum, rising to 500,000, and generate over 10,000 direct and indirect jobs.

"The site in Gujarat, already under the possession of the state government, will help Tata Motors establish a new dedicated mother plant with the shortest possible time lag and least possible incremental project cost,” said Tata.

Nevertheless, this is a setback to Tata’s hopes for the Nano following its launch in January this year when he said he hoped it would bring “the joy, pride and utility of owning a car to many families who need personal mobility.”

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