It seems that Indian Truck Manufacturers’ unchallenged territory is ready to welcome a new competitor, Isuzu. Isuzu Motors Limited, a $1.7 billion Japanese auto firm is planning to invest as much as Rs. 1,000 Crores in India and is looking for a greenfield facility for the same.
According to Economic Times, the company has already formed an Indian entity, called Isuzu Motors India Private Limited, which is setting up an office in Chennai, in August and the India Project Team has already met state government officials of Andhra Pradesh earlier this month. This team is also expected to meet officials from the state of Tamil Nadu and Gujarat to discuss plans for setting up new factories. The facility is expected to be operational by 2014 – 2015 with a capacity of 1,00,000 to 1,20,000 units annually.
Mr. K. Pradeep Chandra, Principal Secretary (Industries), Govt. Of Andhra Pradesh said: “Isuzu have shown some interest for setting up one of their units here. They have huge range of products starting from cars to LCVs all the way to pick up trucks and heavy trucks. We don’t yet know which specific model they are looking at manufacturing here”.
As for immediate plans, the company will import Completely Built Units (CBU) and Completely Knocked-Down Units (CKD) of it’s lifestyle pick-up truck DMAX and large SUVs like MU7 from Thailand by the end of 2012. These vehicles are already on sale in South – East Asian markets.
In the first year, the company plans to sell 1,500 units. A source close to the development, said: “The mid-term plan of Isuzu is to develop SCV model tailored for local needs, build localization of parts and expand the sales channel, and eventually move towards a local manufacturing plant which will produce 120,000 vehicles per year by 2016, with almost 40,000 units exported”.
The location of the assembling plant is still not confirmed but ET suggests that they could use the manufacturing plant of Hindustan Motors – Mitsubishi Plant at Tamil Nadu. Isuzu India is also working with a team from Mitsubishi in Chennai to plan its India strategy. Mitsubishi globally has 9.2 per cent stake in Isuzu Motor Limited. The other option could be the SML Isuzu Plant at Chandigarh. It’s a venture where Isuzu has a 15 per cent stake and manufactures light duty trucks and buses.
People familiar with the development say that the company already had talks with some leading car dealers across the country, requesting them to sell Isuzu products. A pick-up truck, a large SUV and a small commercial vehicle could hit the Indian roads in next couple of months!
News Source: Economic Times