Tata Motors have announced the suspension of operations at its plant in Sanand, Gujarat where the Nano is manufactured for about 35 to 45 days on account of low demand for the Nano, resulting into an inventory pile-up. Also, the Indian automaker has undertaken a retooling activity at the plant to manufacture the new Tata Nano model that is slated to arrive in the market during the festive season.
“As with all our plants, the Sanand facility is closed as per annual planning for routine upgrades, maintenance and adding of tooling flexibility for new variants. The period for this kind of maintenance work may vary and range from three to six week.” a Tata Motors spokesperson said.
Earlier in the month, we had reported that Tata Motors is working on a new small car codenamed, Kite that is expected to be ready by the end of 2015. The hatchback will be built at the Sanand facility that is being rejigged to accommodate the new platform. Tata Motors wants to directly rival the country’s king of small cars, Maruti Suzuki and regain the lost turf to the recently launched Celerio with the Kite hatchback. The said hatchback will reportedly, spawn a compact sedan as well.
The Indian automaker has been operating the Sanand plant for 2-3 days a week over the last six months periodically on account of low market demand. “The company had to take some tough measures. This includes keeping the plant shut instead of pushing inventory and incurring further loss. The company has been producing 2,000 to 2,400 cars every month for the last six months, but a zero schedule for June was a surprise.” a person aware of the development said.
According to industry experts, a shut down for as much as 35-45 days shows a lack of demand more than anything else, since in a modern automobile plant, maintenance and even retooling for a new car does not take that long.