The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Telco plans to outsource bus bodies

New Delhi, Sept. 2: In a major cost-cutting exercise, India’s largest truck and bus maker Tata Engineering is tying up with vehicle body building companies to outsource body manufacturing, a top company official said today.

The company has also initiated an exports drive by identifying various overseas markets for boosting its vehicle exports, including cars, Tata Engineering executive director (commercial vehicles) Ravi Kant said.

“Right now, we have created a department for outsourcing manufacturing and are identifying these companies. These will become our partners as far as body building is concerned,” he said. “After that, taking their quality and productivity into account, we will create certified manufacturing places across the country,” Kant added.

The company has already increased vehicle offtake from Automobile Corporation of Goa Ltd, in which the Tata group has equity holding.

Kant, however, declined to state whether the Tata group would have equity holding in these vehicle body making companies.

The exports initiative would be spearheaded by Tata International, the overseas trading arm of the Tata group, Kant said. At present, Telco exports to southeast Asia, West Asia, Africa and Europe. “We are looking at creating some modifications to the exports division,” he said.

Kant, however, declined to say whether the exports arm would be hived off as a profit centre or whether the company would seek tieups with foreign companies to explore overseas markets. Besides commercial vehicles, Tata Engineering also exports its hatchback car Indica and utility vehicles.

Meanwhile, the company today launched its new ‘EX’ series of medium and heavy trucks in 16, 25, 30 and 35 tonnes capacity.. Kant said the new vehicles would be priced about 15,000 to 20,000 more than the existing vehicles, which are priced at Rs 5 lakh to Rs 11 lakh depending upon their tonnage capacity and features.

Tata Engineering is also launching India’s first turbo intercooler LCV range with the introduction of the LPT 709 EX turbo truck.

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