India's Tata Motors to Launch $2,000 Nano

By Park Sae-jin Posted : March 23, 2009, 18:24 Updated : March 23, 2009, 18:24
Tata's Nano car is seen in an exhibition during the fourth Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit in Ahmadabad, India.

The Nano, billed as the world's cheapest car, will be launched on March 23, its manufacturer, India's Tata Motors Ltd. said in a statement Thursday.

The ultra-cheap 100,000 rupee ($2,000) car will be launched at an event in Mumbai and will be displayed at Tata Motors' dealerships across the country from the first week of April, the statement said. The company will start taking orders for the car from the second week of April.

Violent farmer protests had forced Tata Motors to shut down its factory in West Bengal state and relocate to the western state of Gujarat last year, delaying its planned launch at the end of 2008.

The farmers felt they had been unfairly compensated when the government had acquired 1,000 acres from them and handed it over to Tata Motors for the Nano factory. Such land conflicts have become increasingly common as India struggles to industrialize without leaving millions of subsistence farmers behind.

Tata Motors is a part of the Tata Group, one of India's oldest and largest conglomerates.

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