Companies

TVS Motor plans to revive assembly unit in Bengal

Pratim Ranjan Bose Kolkata | Updated on June 30, 2011 Published on June 30, 2011

Resumption of assembly operations in West Bengal was being considered in view of the improved outlook for the industry as well as the company.





At a time when the West Bengal Government is in for legal battle with Tata Motors; two-wheeler major TVS Motor plans to revive its association with the State. The Chennai-headquartered Rs 1,633 crore-company plans to resume operations of its franchise-operated motorcycle assembly unit — Mahabharat Motors — in Bengal.

“We are working towards stabilisation of the Uluberia plant,” Mr Cecil K. Dewars, TVS Motor Senior Vice-President, Corporate Communications, told Business Line, in an e-mailed reply. While TVS Motor did not elaborate on their future plans in Bengal, a Mahabharat Motors spokesperson, however, said that it was looking forward to TVS to play “an expanded role”.

Background

Promoted by the Salim group of Indonesia and the Singapore-based Universal Success Enterprise, Mahabharat Motors was incorporated in early 2006. Initially, the promoters proposed to manufacture motorcycles on Chinese technology on a 68-acre plot in Uluberia on NH-6, 25 km north of the city.

In mid-2008, TVS Motor decided to appoint Mahabharat as its contract manufacturer. According to TVS Motor, the company's role in the project was limited to “technical support for planning and construction of the assembly plant and train the workforce”, while Mahabharat Motors financed the project.

The plant was slated to roll out 1,000 motorcycles a month beginning October 2009; also was to be ramped up to 10,000 motorcycles a month in the following two of years.

Slowdown

Though Mahabharat claims that the production “is in progress”, sources suggest that the plant could hardly produce a few motor bikes before TVS was hit by the market meltdown and decided to stop sourcing from Mahabharat.

“While production did begin, the unforeseen economic slowdown in 2009 hampered the ramp up plan and therefore, the objective could not be met,” a TVS Motor spokesperson said in response to queries from Business Line.

He, however, added that resumption of assembly operations in the State was being considered in view of the improved outlook for the industry as well as the company.

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Published on June 30, 2011
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