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Tata Passenger Electric Mobility plant Sanand: This is where your Nexon is made!

The Tata Nexon is one of the most popular compact SUVs on sale in India, and Tata Motors recently invited us to check out the Tata Passenger Electric Mobility (TPEM) plant in Sanand, Gujarat, where the SUV is manufactured. This plant was acquired by Tata Motors in 2023 and it will play a pivotal role in the carmaker's future operations.

Tata Sanand plant

Spread over 460 acres, the TPEM plant located in Sanand, Gujarat was originally a Ford India vehicle assembly and engine plant inaugurated in March 2015. This facility was acquired by Tata Motors in January 2023, following Ford’s exit from the Indian market in 2021. Tata Motors invested Rs 725.7 crore to acquire the plant and an additional Rs 1300 crore for retooling it for production of the Nexon. On January 10, 2024, production of the Nexon SUV started from this plant – exactly one year after the plant was acquired from Ford India. This plant manufactures both the ICE variants as well as the EV versions of the Nexon, and this is the second plant in Gujarat to manufacture both ICE as well as EV models.

Tata Motors also had to undertake several retooling and technological upgrades after the acquisition of this plant. This included new dies for the stamping of critical body panels in the press shop, as well as the modification of all lines in the weld shop with the presence of additional robots. According to TPEM, the weld shop is 98% automated, closely followed by the press shop at 80%. The production capacity of the plant is 300,000 units per annum, which can be ramped up to 420,000 units. We were invited to check out the paint shop, the body-in-white (BIW) station, the TCF or trim chassis finish line as well as the test track. It was interesting to check out how the Nexon is manufactured, especially with the EV and the ICE variants of the Nexon being assembled on the same line. The only way to differentiate them is the presence of orange-coloured high voltage cables in the Nexon EV, as opposed to the ICE-powered Nexon. The visit was wrapped up with a quick spin in the Tata Nexon EV at the TPEM high speed test track.

Nalanda: TPEM’s in-house education programme

TPEM has also started an education programme for the training and upskilling of its workers within 30 days of acquiring the plant, in partnership with Ganpat University, Ahmedabad. The programmes provide training for workers at various levels, be it post graduate, graduate or even a diploma. This in-house training facility is called Nalanda, and it comprises 7 fully functional classrooms at the plant, which can accommodate up to a total of 500 people at a time. Here, the enrolled employees are studying foundation level subjects (like Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry) along with advanced technology related subjects like sensors and control engineering, mechatronics, EV technology, E-powertrain design, and undertaking relevant project work. This training programme is based on the learn and earn model, so that employees can undertake higher education without any cost to them. They continue to earn their salary while pursuing the course. 

Also read Tata Motors EV Arm Acquires Ford India’s Sanand Plant

TopGear Magazine June 2024