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Tatra to hit the road in 2005

December 13, 2004 10:36 IST

Tatra Trucks India Ltd, the joint venture between Czech truck maker Tatra and Vectra of UK, is planning to launch its first highway transportation vehicle (for the goods segment) late next year.

The company plans to enter the Indian truck market, which is currently dominated by two domestic firms, Tata Motors Ltd and Ashok Leyland Ltd, with the launch of a 20-tonne multi-axle truck.

TTIL is also setting up a unit for manufacturing seating systems for the automotive segment and has tied up with Spanish firm Fainsa for technical support for this new line of business.

The company plans to begin commercial production of seating systems early next year. The seating systems unit will be set up in its existing dumpster making facility in Hosur, Tamil Nadu at a cost of Rs 6 crore (Rs 60 million) and will have initial capacity of 200,000 units per annum. The company will target both domestic and overseas customers for this new line of business.

Managing director Rakesh Jinsi said, "The new product is not in the portfolio of Tatra worldwide.  It is still in the product development stage and we plan to launch the new product by end next year," Jinsi said.  To start with, the company will be targeting sales of 600-700 units per annum. The new range of trucks will be of the 20 tonne range with three axles.

"We already have 30-tonne capacity dumpsters in our portfolio and it was only natural to scale it down to the legally permissible capacity for highway transportation," he said. At present TTIL with its "Hemang" and "T-815" dump trucks has a major presence in the off-road segment catering to mining and construction sector.

For this segment the company has an order book position of 200 units this financial year.  The company sold 140 dumping trucks last year.

The value of the current year's order book is estimated at Rs 90 crore (Rs 900 million).

For seating systems business, Jinsi said the company is already in talks with several automobile manufacturers in the country to be an OE supplier. "We are talking to several OEs in both in passenger vehicles and truck segment.  It is too early to reveal names at this stage."

Explaining the reason for entering the new line of business, Jinsi said the buoyant automotive segment offers impressive volumes for component and accessories manufactures in India.

TTIL, formerly known as Tatra Udyog Ltd, is a joint venture between Tatra a.s. of Czech Republic (a part of Terex corporation, USA) and the Vectra group, a UK-based NRI company, having substantial business interests in UK, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, CIS, Singapore and India.

Since end 2002, Terex corporation and Vectra Group have become the principal shareholders of Tatra a.s. Terex corporation, a $4 billion company is the worlds third largest manufacturer of construction equipment. It has presence in 100 countries across the globe and owns reputed brands such as O&K, Unit Rig, Demag and American.
S Kalyana Ramanathan in New Delhi