Nano, the small car of Tata Motors, will now roll out from Gujarat. Group chairman Ratan Tata made the announcement in Gandhinagar Tuesday with Chief Minister Narendra Modi on the day he completed seven years in office.
The site chosen is Sanand, 30 km from the state's commercial capital Ahmedabad, on an area of some 1,100 acres.
A memorandum of understanding to this effect was signed between Tata Motors and the Gujarat government Tuesday. “Welcome Nano,” read a poster behind the podium where the two sides signed the agreement.
"I don't see the entry of Nano as mere investment in Gujarat. I see it as a partnership between the Tatas and Gujarat - a partnership that would give a new direction and drive to our state's development," said Modi.
"I welcome Ratan Tata and Tata Motors in the new endeavour, and in the progress of my state," he said, adding: "I had wanted Nano project to roll out of India, irrespective of the state. And I am happy that they have chosen Gujarat."
Tata said it was a momentous, happy and special day for Tata Motors.
"We had been through some sad experience. But so quickly and with so much enthusiasm, we now have a new home. Having this new home and this new pact on the seventh anniversary of the chief minister's leadership makes it a special occasion for us," he said.
"We will be a good corporate citizen of Gujarat. We will be conscious of everything that Gujarat stands for and contribute to the good quality of life for its people," he said.
"Given the kind of problems across the country, what we saw here was truly unbelievable."
Tata said it would be the group's endeavour to roll out Nano as scheduled, even though it would take some time to build a new plant in Gujarat. "It would be too premature to talk about when Nano will roll out of Gujarat," he said.
"The chief minister has given us the goal. This is the smallest car in India and I want the project to be built at the shortest possible time. We won't be supersonic but build the plans soon," he said.
"We will launch Nano as per schedule, even if we may not have the volumes."
Tatas began scouting for an alternative site after pulling their project out of Singur in West Bengal following protests over the acquisition of farmland for the factory and threats to the company's employees, contractors and vendors.
Several states like Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra and Hayrana said they would roll out the red carpet should the Tata Motors agree to set up its project in their territories, but the group finally chose Gujarat.