Although the company would initially assemble vehicles with imported components, subsequently it would source up to 80 per cent of components and spares from local auto ancillary units.

Badal Sanyal

Kolkata, Oct. 8

THE Rs 500-crore Indo-Russian joint venture commercial vehicle project at Haldia is all set to begin trial production from November/early December. Commercial production is expected to begin in January.

The project will manufacture international standard high capacity (10-45 tonnes), medium and heavy duty (230-440 horse power) commercial vehicles for cross-country, off-road and on-road applications.

In the joint venture company - Ural India Ltd (UIL) - URALAZ of Russia and the Kolkata-based Motijug Group will have equal equity stake of 44.5 per cent and the balance 11 per cent will beheld by the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC).

Local sourcing: The UIL Chairman, Mr J.K. Saraff, told Business Line that though the company would initially assemble vehicles with imported components, subsequently it would source up to 80 per cent of components and spares from local auto ancillary units.

Mr Saraff said vehicles would be fuel-efficient and cost-effective compared to those used now by the defence forces, and mining, road construction, and cement industries to name a few. The vehicles would have features not available on those produced in India, he claimed.

Capacity: Without specifying the number of vehicles to be rolled out during the trial run, Mr Saraff said the company would increase production capacity up to 7,000 pieces in three phases. Once the production is achieved, the company would make further investments in the plant, which is located on about 300 acres.

Incidentally, the Russian company plans to source auto components from India for other countries, he said.

URALAZ, a part of RUSPROM Auto Group, has already established joint venture companies in China and Egypt besides the factories in Russia and in Europe.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 9, 2005)
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