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Shifting from Singur gave us a high negative cost: Tata

Ratan-TataChairman Emeritus of Tata Sons Ratan Tata has said shifting the Nano car plant from Singur in West Bengal was a prudent move in hindsight but gave the group a high negative cost.

“In hindsight, it was a prudent decision given the hostile circumstances in Singur. But that move gave us a high negative cost,” Tata said at an interaction organised by the Ladies Study Group of Indian Chamber of Commerce.

Tata, who took the decision to shift the Nano plant from Singur in 2008, was the chairman of Tata Sons then and retired two years back.

“When we created the Nano, there was a lot of global excitement that a car could be offered at a price of USD 2,500 and three lakh orders with a waiting period of two years was induced.”

“But it took another year because of the shift and there was a general disbelief generated about the car, while competitors got a chance to start bad-mouthing the Nano. By that time, much of the excitement was lost,” he said.

Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Tata said he was grateful to him for giving Nano a home at Sanand in Gujarat. Talking about West Bengal, he said he faced a serious problem (referring to Singur) which was not related to labour.

“We had to take the decision that we cannot operate in the hostile situation and had to move out the car factory to another state. You can pull the trigger of the gun or take it away. But the head will not move,” he quipped.

Asked to comment on the change in the state compared to two years back, he said, “While driving from Rajarhat, it is unbelievable to see new buildings coming up. But it still looks like a countryside, undeveloped. I do not see much signs of industrial development.”

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