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Vendors to back Tata in case of Nano pull-out

autos Updated: Aug 26, 2008 18:55 IST
Aniruddha Basu
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Vendors for Tata Motors' Nano car would back Tata in the eventuality of a pull-out from Singur in West Bengal, but said they were not aware of a deadline for a relocation of the plant.

"Tatas have communicated to all vendors that work at Singur should continue as planned," said DS Malik, managing director of Amtek Auto Ltd, which currently supplies engine and suspension components for the Nano from its plant at Gurgaon.

"In future whether they are in Singur or elsewhere we will follow," Malik said.

West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Tuesday said he could not return the 400 acres that agitating farmers were demanding, and that is earmarked for the ancillary units.

Nearly 55 ancillary units have come to Singur, and nearly half of them had started work, he said.

Last week, Tata Motors Chairman Ratan Tata said he would relocate the Nano factory from its current location at Singur in West Bengal if violent protests were to continue.

Tata had said there was no time frame for a pullout from Singur if they decided to move, and also said there was no "Plan B" for the Nano if they pulled out.

Tata Motors, which has faced violent protests and political opposition over the acquisition of farmland in Singur, has since been flooded with offers from other states, including neighbouring Orissa, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.

The Economic Times on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources, said Tata Motors had internally indicated it would pull out of Singur in two weeks if the situation did not improve.

It also said a first batch of Nano cars was ready at its plants in Uttarakhand and Mahasrashtra.

A Tata Motors spokesman declined comment on the report.

Components maker Rico Auto, which supplies head blocks from its Gurgaon plant, is also willing to relocate.

"Soon, our technology will be transferred to wherever the Tatas are," Managing Director Arvind Kapur said on the telephone.

Top auto and industrial battery maker Exide Industries, which has a factory near Singur, will "wait and watch" before starting commercial supplies for Nano, its director said.

"We are currently supplying prototypes, we will supply commercially depending on when the Nano project rolls out," said Paban Kumar Kataky.

"But if Tata moves out then we can also have alternative plans and relocate," he said.

Tata Motors shares ended down 0.18 per cent at 433.50 rupees.

Amtek Auto ended down 3.7 per cent at 174.50 rupees, while Rico Auto fell 2.7 per cent to 17.80 rupees and Exide rose 1.2 per cent to 70 rupees in a market that closed up 0.2 per cent.