The Tata Nano was the reason why Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a political rally in Gujarat. Here is what he said,
(Then chief minister) Modi gave a Rs 33,000 loan crore (for the) Tata Nano (project) almost for free… In spite of that there are no Tata Nano seen on roads (today). This is the Gujarat model. Take lands from farmers, give (businessmen) water, electricity, and they give (the businessmen) give nothing in return… This is what the Gujarat model of development is.
In 2010, Tata Motors set up a factory to produce the Nano in Gujarat. The land acquisition process was controversial. The Gujarat government acquired 1,100 acres of farmland at Sanand for the factory, and the farmers protested. The protests died down only after the Gujarat government paid a compensation of Rs. 1,200 per square meter (4 times the market price) of land to the farmers. Tata Motors paid the Gujarat government Rs. 900 per square meter of land.
The factory was set up to produce 250,000 units of the Nano each year but even 25 % of the capacity was never utilized. Now Tata has re-engineered the Nano factory to produce other compact cars like the Tiago hatchback and the Tigor compact sedan. Tata’s efforts to turnaround the Sanand factory have borne fruit. Recently, the company rolled out the 100,000th unit of the Tiago from Sanand.
While it is true that the Nano is a very poor seller (it slipped to its lowest ever sales of 124 units in September 2017), Tata Motors is trying to make it a success by exploring the electric vehicle route. Test mules of the Tata Nano Electric have been spotted in India. Tata is expected to launch the Nano EV next year, in an attempt to make the car an economical, low polluting option for city buyers. Currently, the Nano is available with a 624cc petrol engine, and manual gearbox and AMT options.