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HM bid to get back on track

Revival route

New Delhi, May 14: After hiving off its Chennai plant to a separate entity, Hindustan Motors is scouting for investors to revive its ailing Uttarpara plant in Bengal.

Company officials said they were in the process of revamping its senior management and would engage consultants to revive the facility, which has capacity to produce 20,000 cars a year.

“We are looking at all possible options for the revival of the Uttarpara plant, which include bringing in new investors for funds,” a company official said.

Hindustan Motors managing director Uttam Bose had resigned earlier this month and has moved to Hindustan Motors Finance Corporation as its MD. The latter entity has acquired the Chennai plant.

Moloy Chowdhury has been appointed as the acting managing director and CEO of Hind Motors. Chowdhury had left the company in 2010 when Manoj Jha was appointed the managing director. He rejoined in October 2013. C.K. Birla had resigned as chairman of the company in December.

Aniruddha Sarkar has been made the chief financial officer and legal head, while company secretary Tarun Kumar Kabra will be the compliance officer.

The Uttarpara plant has been suffering losses of around Rs 7-8 crore per month. “This kind of loss with almost no cash flow is making operations difficult,” the official said.

“Production of the traditional Ambassador cars has plummeted to low levels. The plant was producing 700-800 Ambassadors per month a few years back. At present, production has fallen to low levels owing to lack of funds. Last month, the plant manufactured 100 cars,” he added.

The management recently sold the prized Chennai factory to Hindustan Motors Finance Corp — a C.K. Birla group firm. The company now has just one manufacturing unit in Uttarpara where it produces the Ambassador.

Last year, Hindustan Motors got a major relief when it secured the Automotive Research Association of India’s certification for its new BS IV-compliant diesel engine. It was unable to sell Ambassadors in many Indian cities since 2010.

Besides the Ambassador, the company manufactures light commercial vehicle Winner and auto components at its Uttarpara plant.

 
 
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