Home / Features / Tata Motors Plant Visit – Metamorphosis

 

We recently visited Tata Passenger Electric Mobility’s new Sanand plant in Gujarat and saw at close quarters the changes that were made to integrate it into the Tata Motors’ ecosystem.

Story: Sayantan De
Photography: Sanjay Raikar

What happens when a manufacturer shuts down their plant? The tools and machinery lie in wait for the next owner, gathering dust. But that’s only one part of the story, for the people who keep the plant running can’t remain idle like the machines. So, it was a breath of relief for the workers at Blue Oval’s Sanand plant when they heard that Tata Motors were going to acquire it.

The Tata Group have an enviable reputation in the Indian job sector as one of the best employers to work for. This definitely helped allay the fear and uncertainty faced by the plant personnel, but Tata Passenger Electric Mobility (TPEML) went one step further in welcoming them to the Tata family.

One of the most amazing things they did was to set up a university inside the plant itself. Cent per cent of the employees (more than 1,000 of them) have been enrolled in higher education; those who have already received training at an Industrial Training Institute (ITI) are in diploma programmes, diploma-holders are in B Tech courses, and graduate engineers are doing their master’s. The course is Electric Vehicle Technology, which is built upon the Electrical Engineering course approved by AICTE and UGC. There’s a tie-up with Ganpat University for the laboratory sessions. TPEML also worked with the families of the employees and conducted trust-building exercises, so this period of transition was easier for them.

As for the plant, it is a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and, just like General Motors’ Corvette plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky, produces a single model: the Tata Nexon. Thanks to the architecture of the Nexon EV, the assembly line can handle both internal-combustion engine (ICE) and electric vehicle (EV) models simultaneously without requiring any change in pace or batches. TPEML also upgraded a number of areas in the plant, including the press shop, weld shop, paint shop, and assembly shop. They managed to complete all these upgrades within a year while their staff was undergoing higher education—now, that’s multi-tasking. They acquired the plant on 10 January 2023 and rolled out the first Nexon exactly one year later on 10 January 2024.

Change is one of the only constants in life and transitions can be difficult, but it is heartening to see the effort put in by large companies such as TPEML for each individual employee, thus making the sum greater than its parts.

 

About the author: Sayantan De

 

 

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