New home for India’s Nano mini-car

GANDHINAGAR, October 7, 2008 (AFP) – India’s Tata Motors signed an agreement on Tuesday to secure a new home for its troubled Nano cheap car project in the business-friendly state of Gujarat. The move came after Ratan Tata, the group’s chairman, decided to abandon a nearly completed factory in communist-run West Bengal due to violent protests by evicted farmers and activists.

The Nano has attracted worldwide attention due to its planned price tag of just 100,000 rupees (2,100 dollars).

Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist who has promoted his state as an investment destination, wooed the project with an offer of 1,000 acres (440 hectares) of land and a promise of no labour strikes.

“There was curiosity all over India and this is the occasion — Ratan Tata is with us in Gujarat,” Modi told a press conference.

“Tata and Gujarat can make a new chapter together with this partnership, which will give a fresh boost to the state’s development.”

With states around India vying to host the plant, Tata chose a site near Ahmedabad, the main city in Gujarat, company officials said.

Ratan Tata welcomed the deal, which he described as “very attra