The Telegraph
Monday , February 3 , 2014
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Isuzu bets on Andhra plant

Kikuchi: Big plans

Calcutta, Feb. 2: Japan’s Isuzu Motors hopes its plant in Andhra Pradesh will be ready by 2016 when output at the Chennai unit will have reached a peak capacity of 5,000 units per annum.

The car maker, which floated its Indian subsidiary in August 2012, has a tie-up with Calcutta-based Hindustan Motors to assemble cars at the latter’s Chennai plant. Isuzu imports key components and assembles its sports utility vehicle MU-7 at that plant.

The company plans to launch a pick-up truck at the upcoming Delhi Auto Expo to compete with the Tata Xenon and Mahindra Genio,

However, Isuzu is unperturbed by Hindustan Motors’ plan to divest its stake in the Chennai plant and is focussing on building its own capacity.

“The focus now is on building our own manufacturing capacity,” Isuzu Motors India president Takashi Kikuchi said.

The company has laid the foundation stone of its Rs 3,000-crore plant at Sri City near the border of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. It will produce both light commercial vehicles and utility vehicles.

“Our investment showcases our commitment to India and we look forward to gradually increasing our presence in the country,” Susumi Hosoi, president and representative director of Isuzu Motors, said.

Shigeru Wakabayashi, deputy managing director of Isuzu Motors India, said the first phase of production was expected to begin from early 2016 with a capacity of 50,000 units a year.

The company also plans to export cars and strengthen its dealer network with an initial focus on south India.