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Tuesday, Jul 16, 2002

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Backlog for Indica V2 — Tata Engg runs 2nd shift at Pune assembly unit

Sudha Menon

PUNE, July 15

TATA Engineering's Pune-based passenger car manufacturing plant on Monday saw a milestone of sorts when the company commenced operations in the second shift at its final assembly, the first time ever since it kicked off passenger car business more than three years ago with the Indica.

Top company sources told Business Line the company was stepping up production at the plant to clear a backlog of waitlisted bookings for the new V2 model which was launched recently.

Sources said the company was stepping up production of the V2 from the 300 units being produced in an extended 12-hour shift currently to the level of over 350 units beginning Monday. ``Over the next few days we plan to step up production to touch the four hundred level'', sources said.

The company is riding on the back of a spurt in demand for its car following the launch of the new V2.Sales figures have picked up sharply from the level of just over 3,000 in May to over 7,000 vehicles in June. Sources said the company hoped to produce and sell over 9,000 vehicles in July.

Highly-placed company sources said the decision to commence a second shift at the final assembly was taken in response to the fact that the V2 seemed to have caught the fancy of the aspiring car buyer. "Last week we were faced with a situation where we had a backlog of 1500 bookings which had already been paid for by customers''.

The company actually instructed its dealer community to stop accepting orders till the existing backlog was cleared. "Depending on how the market develops over the next few weeks and the order book position, we will take a call on further enhancing production figures'', sources said.

Meanwhile, the company is also believed to be gearing up its manufacturing plant in anticipation of the Indica sedan, which is expected to be launched in September.

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