Calcutta, Sept. 1: Hindustan Motors has decided to produce rural transport vehicles (RTV) at its Uttarpara factory, in addition to Ambassadors and Trekkers.
The move is being seen as part of the company’s drive to increase the productivity of the plant and reduce overhead costs. The factory currently has a workforce of 8,500.
The C. K. Birla flagship has also decided to sell customised chassis for RTVs. “We have drawn up plans to produce RTVs at the Uttarpara factory. Trial production has already started,” HM vice-president marketing G. Lakshmma Reddy said.
At present, RTVs are made at the company’s Pitampura plant in Delhi. The company sold 2,600 RTVs in the last financial year.
“Our aim is to sell 3,000 RTVs in the current financial year and we are on target. We are also introducing variants of RTVs to meet the demand,” Reddy said. The RTVs are priced at Rs 3.4 lakh and above. HM is also in talks with Jet Airways, Sahara and other airlines for selling RTVs to be used as staff carriers.
The company will also produce a new variant of the Ambassador at its Uttarpara factory. “New Ambassadors will hit the market in October-November. Initially we aim to sell 200-250 new Ambassadors per month,” Reddy said.
The new Ambassador is priced at Rs 5.5 to Rs 6 lakh. HM’s sales have picked up in the last few months following introduction of power steering facilities. “In the first five months HM sold 5,500 Ambassador cars. This is an increase of 15 per cent over the last year,” Reddy said.
The company aims to sell 17,000–18,000 Ambassadors this fiscal. Last year the company sold 15,000 Ambassador cars.
In view of the economic slowdown, demand for passenger cars has remained more or less static at the same level. “We expect the economy to look up in the fourth quarter and, consequently, demand for Ambassador cars in the taxi and the institutional segment to pick up substantially,” Reddy added.