Tata Motors has stopped production at its factory in Sanand, Gujarat for three to four weeks, citing routine maintenance as the reason. The manufacturing facility produces only Nano hatchbacks and has been working just two to three days a week since the past few months on account of the low demand of the ‘world’s cheapest car’. This announcement of complete closure however, comes as a surprise as sales of the Nano have been steadily increasing since the launch of the Twist and eMax variants.
Despite having a capacity of around 20,830 units per month, the Sanand facility has been barely churning out 2,000 to 4,000 units for the past few months. The shutdown for such a long duration indicates the lack of demand for the vehicle as well as the presence of surplus stock.
Tata Motors said that the shutdown has been initiated for retooling the facility, which hints that the Pune-based manufacturer might start the production of the new Nano with an openable hatch after the factory resumes production. This car has been spotted testing many times and it seems that Tata has completed the development and testing of the car. The facility is also expected to be equipped to manufacture hatchback and sedans based on a new platform, internally called as ‘Kite’.
A Tata spokesperson said, “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 periods for these kinds of maintenance work may vary and range from three to six weeks.”
The Nano is currently available in a host of variants, all powered by a twin-cylinder 624cc engine churning out 37bhp and 51Nm of torque. Besides the regular four-speed manual gearbox, the new Nano will get the option of Tata’s new automated manual (AMT) gearbox, similar to the one used by Maruti in the Celerio hatchback. It will also get some cosmetic updates as well as the openable hatch.