According to ET Auto, Tata Motors and Ford India have submitted a proposal Gujarat Government for transfer of ownership of the Sanand manufacturing plant. The plant belongs to Ford India right now, it was used for manufacturing 2.4 lakh units of vehicles and 2.7 lakh engines per year. Ford spent Rs. 4,500 Crores to set up this manufacturing facility. If everything goes well then Tata Motors would acquire Ford’s plant by next week.
Tata Motors already has a production plant in Sanand. They also invested Rs. 4,500 Crores to set up their plant. The plant has an annual production capacity of 1.5 lakh units. Tata currently uses the plant to manufacture Tigor EV, Tiago and Tigor. TOI also contacted Tata Motors regarding the purchase of the new plant but they said “We continue to explore possible alternatives for our manufacturing facilities.”
Last year, Ford decided to no longer function in the Indian market. Reportedly, they had faced an accumulated operating loss of 2 billion in the past decade. There were a lot of reasons behind it. Ford’s joint venture with Mahindra came to an end. Also, Mahindra’s line-up in India was old when compared to its competitors and developing a new product would have taken a lot more time and even more investment. Ford did say that they are still evaluating products for the Indian market and they will continue to service and provide support to the existing products.
Tata Motors working on a slew of new products
Tata Motors is working on a new mid-size SUV, which has been codenamed Blackbird. It will be based on Nexon’s X1 platform. Blackbird will essentially be a coupe version of Nexon. Tata will first launch the new SUV as an electric vehicle and the ICE version will follow soon. The engines on offer will be the new 1.5-litre turbo petrol and the existing 1.5-litre diesel engine.
Harrier & Safari Petrol
Tata Motors is also working on a petrol version of Harrier and Safari. It will help in bringing down the starting price of both SUVs. The power output of the 1.5-litre turbocharged engine is expected to be around 160 bhp. The SUVs are expected to launch by the end of this year.
Long-range Nexon EV
Tata Motors is also testing a long-range version of the Nexon EV. The battery pack will be bumped from 30.2 kWh to 40 kWh. This means that the claimed driving range would go up from 312 km to 400 km. There would be some additional equipment too that will be offered with the long-range Nexon EV. It would come with Electronic Stability Program, rear disc brakes and adjustable regenerative braking.
The homegrown manufacturer is also working on reviving the legendary Sierra nameplate. However, this time the Sierra will be offered only as an electric SUV. It will be based on a new Sigma platform and will be developed from the ground up. Tata Motors showcased the Sierra EV at the Auto Expo 2020. Sierra EV will not be launched before 2025.