Tata Motors Sanand plant’s amazing turnaround! From the Nano to making electric vehicles of future

With the Nano taking the backseat, we talk about how Tata's Sanand plants flexibility has been key to its success!

By:Updated: August 10, 2018 11:00:46 AM

It would seem that Tata’s Turn-around strategy could not have come a moment sooner, as the market demand for their new generation of cars and SUVs hits an all-time high. Tata Motors announced yesterday that they would ramp up plans for their manufacturing facility in Sanand Gujrat. The facility was originally earmarked for the Nano after Tata’s plans of setting up a manufacturing the Nano out of Singur in West Bengal. The plan was met with vehement opposition by Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee. The plant came to be after Narendra Modi (then CM of Gujarat) offered Ratan Tata space in Sanand, which was on its way to becoming an automotive manufacturing hub. It’s already known that over years Nano sales declined but what’s notable is that Tata Motors swooped in and began production of the Tata Tiago and the Tigor out of this facility. Thus far, the factory has rolled out more than 4.5 lakh cars since its establishment and is among the fastest expanding plants under the Tata Motors’ banner. The company is currently mapping out its modular architecture plans and will distribute its Passenger Vehicle manufacturing between Pune and Sanand to meet its product expansion plans.

The facility itself is set up on 1100 acres of land and is a testimony of how important flexibility is to manufacturing. In 2010, the Sanand Facility was set up to manufacture a single model but today, the plant not only manufactures standard internal combustion version of the Tigor and the Tiago but also electric versions of the Tigor that are being supplied to the government under the EESL acquisition deal. It is also likely that this plant will be ground zero for more Tata electric vehicles in the future starting with the Tata Motors’ Tiago EV. Thanks to a flexible assembly line that use over 190 robots, the plant today manufactures Nano, Tiago & Tigor models spread across 21 variants with 150 vehicle combinations. It is also producing engines – Revotron 1.2L – Petrol (Manual & Auto Transmission), Revotorq 1.05L – Diesel, 624 CC, MPFI – Petrol (Manual & Auto Transmission) and 1.2 NGTC – Petrol (Manual & Auto Transmission).

In fact, the Sanand Plant has even been awarded CII’s GreenCo Platinum Certification in June 2018 for being a zero discharge plant with a systematic hazardous waste disposal process. In addition, 35% of the power used at the companies’ Sanand plant comes from renewable sources with 2 MegaWatts coming from rooftop solar panels, while off-site wind power mills have a capacity of 9 MegaWatts.

It’s been far from a fairytale for Tata Motors which has long struggled with multiple products that didn’t seem to inspire buyers. However, in today’s context, it’s important to note that Tata Motors has been able to quickly learn from their mistakes, re-adjust their strategy and come back out of their corner swinging. This has been partly possible because of the many initiatives that have been taken with respect to optimizing all business functions along with the new product and design strategy. In this way the revamp of the Sanand plant has been a vital playing piece for Tata Motors during the transition from the Zest/Bolt to the Tiago/Tigor era. This marked a true turning point for Tata Motors, not only allowing them to bring products faster to the Market but also giving the Sanand plant a strong future despite a moderately rough start.

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