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Tatra Trucks plans to launch new HCV

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Mr R.K. Rishi, Chairman, Vectra Group of Companies, and Mr Joan Singla Casasayas, President, FAINSA, at the launch of Tatra Trucks India Ltd and FAINSA's GALA, a new bus seat, at the Hosur plant on Friday. - G.R.N. Somashekar
Mr R.K. Rishi, Chairman, Vectra Group of Companies, and Mr Joan Singla Casasayas, President, FAINSA, at the launch of Tatra Trucks India Ltd and FAINSA's GALA, a new bus seat, at the Hosur plant on Friday. - G.R.N. Somashekar

Our Bureau

Bangalore, Feb. 18

TATRA Trucks, the heavy commercial vehicles manufacturer, plans to launch a highway transportation vehicle by the year-end to add to its existing portfolio of HCV.

The company hopes to produce a 20-tonne, 250-horsepower engine vehicle, said Mr Rakesh Jinsi, Managing Director, Tatra Trucks India Ltd (TTIL).

Mr Jinsi said with buoyancy in the economy giving thrust to infrastructure projects, Tatra Trucks hopes to diversify from off-roader projects and equipment carrier vehicles to the conventional sector.

He said the company was also hoping to export its off-roader vehicles to Korea.

TTIL, a member of the UK-based Vectra Group, does not see competition from both Volvo and Tata Daewoo to pose any problem, as it would come out with a different category of product from the companies.

TTIL already exports its heavy-duty commercial vehicles to Malyasia and would explore new markets in other South-East Asian countries such as Thailand.

On the competition from within the country for the class of truck, Mr Jinsi said TTIL with larger indigenisation and slight price advantage due to lower base cost could garner a market share of 40 per cent. Volvo is the market leader with 60 per cent in India, he said.

TTIL, which is a 90-10 joint venture, with the Vectra Group being the major partner of Tatra a.s. of Czech Republic, does not intend to increase its investment from its current Rs 40 crore as the plant has adequate facility to scale up larger capacity than 200 HCV produced this year.

TTIL, which began its operations in 1997 with a modest investment, hopes to earn Rs 100 crore this year, which includes exports worth Rs 35 crore. Last year, the turnover was Rs 70 crore.

New seating systemWhile addressing a press conference to announce the launch of new business of manufacturing passenger seating systems, in technical collaboration with FAINSA of Spain, Mr Jinsi said that TTIL had invested 2 million euros (Rs 10 crore) to set up the 2,00,000 seating system facility in its Bangalore trucks plant complex.

The facility would produce three categories of seating system super luxury, semi-luxury and city bus but the company would be targeting 50,000 seats in the first year, primarily focussing on super luxury segment.

TTIL would be exporting 50 per cent of its production, most of it dedicated to FAINSA.

The FAINSA Export Manager, Mr Marc Vidal said that his company was looking at making India a hub for marketing in regions where the company was not exporting from Spain or China, where its facilities existed.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 19, 2005)
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