Is Tata's Nano the new Austin Mini?

Earlier this week, I wrote a story for BusinessWeek.com about the protests enveloping the plant which is slated to soon commence production of the $2,500 Tata Nano, the world’s cheapest car. To recap, on Aug. 24, an estimated 30,000 protesters, angry at the way the state government had acquired 400 acres of land surrounding the plant, gathered at the factory and blocked roads leading to it. Some 4,000 riot police with water cannons were on standby in case of violence. Some of the protesters stayed on, setting up a reported 21 camps and promising not to leave until the land, which Tata wants for suppliers, is handed back. Protesters are said to have attacked Tata employees and stolen equipment from the site.

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