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Toyota to set up R&D centre in India

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The 150 pc tax sops would allow the existing R&D centres to increase their investments.

Bangalore , July 8

AUTO major Toyota is planning to set up a research and development centre in India.

Reacting to the Budget announcement about the 150 per cent tax concession to auto R&D centres, Toyota-Kirloskar Motor Deputy Managing Director, Mr K.K. Swamy, told newspersons on Thursday that the company plans to set up a R&D centre. He did not specify when the centre would be set up.

Mr Swamy said the tax sop would help more auto majors to draw up their plans for setting up R&D base in India. ``It is definitely a major boost for the industry,'' Mr Swamy said. He said the concessions would allow the existing R&D centres to increase their investments and expand their activities.

Daimler Chrysler and General Motors have already set up their research and development centres in Bangalore. Last year, auto companies like Maruti Udyog, Honda Siel, Ashok Leyland and Ford India spent a total of Rs 300 crore on research and development activities.

General Motors recently announced the opening of its first global technology lab outside the US in Bangalore, which would harness local talent to do research on futuristic vehicles for the world's largest automaker. The Indian lab carries out research in advanced vehicle design, vehicle analysis, lightweight materials, agile manufacturing processes and automotive electronics and controls systems.

In February this year, General Motors announced that it was setting up a global research lab in Bangalore with an investment of around $60 million over three years and hire around 280 engineers. The car maker's global network of research and development activities include its central hub at the GM technical centre in the US and science offices that coordinate industry partner projects and collaborations at leading universities in more than 12 countries. In India alone, GM has over 30 research projects being conducted at universities and national laboratories.

Toyota manufactures the multi-purpose Qualis and the world's largest selling car, Corolla and imports Camry as a CBU in India. The company posted a 62 per cent increase in sales during 2003 to end the year with 40,500 units. Corolla sold a total of 8,020 units in 2003 while Camry sold 1,043 units and Qualis sold 31,444 units.

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