Violent protests may delay release of world's cheapest car
Tata Motors will move production of the world's cheapest car from a new factory in India's West Bengal state if violent protests by local farmers - forced to sell their land for the site - continue, its chairman warned today.
In a blow to the country's image as an emerging centre of manufacturing might, Ratan Tata told a press conference that demonstrations over the acquisition of farmland threatened to delay the launch of the Nano, scheduled for October.
"What has concerned us is the violence, the disruptions, that has led us to be concerned about the safety of our employees, our equipment and investment, and of the viability of the process," he said in the state capital, Kolkata, today.
"We need to protect our people. How would we (be able to) bring our managers and their families if they are going to get beaten? … If anybody is under the impression that, because we have made a large investment of 15 billion rupees (£184m), we would not move, then they are wrong, because we would move to protect our people."