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India’s Tata Abandons “Cheap Car” Facility

10/03/2008
The Tata Group of India has abandoned a nearly completed factory in Singur, on the outskirts of Kolkata, that was slated to produced the world's least expensive car. Agence France-Presse reports that Rajan Tata, the company's CEO, told a news conference that weeks of violent demonstrations triggered by a dispute over land costs had become unmanageable. "You cannot run a plant with police protection, you cannot run a plant when bombs are being thrown, you cannot run a plant when workers are being intimidated," Tata said at the conference. The protests have been spearheaded by a regional leader who accuses the state of West Bengal's government of forcing farmers to give up their land for a low price so that the factory could be built. The company says it plans to relocate the factory, but did not specify where the new facility might be built, how long the process might take, or how much of the US$319 million investment in the project will be lost.

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