Auto major Tata Motors has indicated to its 40-odd component suppliers to the Nano car project that it is ramping up its capacity at Uttarakhand's Pantnagar facility to 50-60,000 units per annum by March.
The company has also said that it intends to launch the car by late March or early April. It had earlier said that Nano would be launched in limited numbers.
The company, however, has not given any information as to when the car's mother plant in Sanand will be operational. “Tata Motors has not given any concrete information on the progress in Sanand but has indicated that it is ramping up capacity at the Pantnagar plant to 50-60,000 units per annum by March,” said L Ganesh, chairman, Rane Group. “We will be supplying components to the Pantnagar plant from our facilities in the state though ultimately we may have to set up a plant in Sanand.”
Rane Group, which has two operational and one upcoming plant in Uttarakhand, is supplying rack and pinion steering gears, lower control arms, steering columns and seat belts to the Rs 1-lakh car. It had earlier intended to invest Rs 20 crore in a five-acre facility adjacent to Nano's Singur plant but incurred losses of around Rs 2 crore after Tata withdrew from West Bengal.
Tata Motors had earlier said that they were planning to launch Nano in fewer numbers from one of the existing plants as an interim arrangement. “We are looking at something to launch Nano in fewer numbers as soon as possible from one of our existing plants as an interim arrangement. We are looking at a few customers to least have a touch and feel of the car," Ravi Kant, managing director, Tata Motors had said in December last year.
At the meeting with vendors who had lost money in Singur, Tata Motors is learnt to have told vendors to supply from their existing facilities to Pantnagar for the time being.
"The company has asked us to ship components to Pantnagar and also said that it wants to launch the car latest by the first week of April," said another supplier who did not wish to be named.
Tata has four manufacturing units in the country.