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Tata to start SA production

2008-04-09 13:33
New Delhi - India's top vehicle maker, Tata Motors, plans to make trucks and buses in South Africa, as it seeks to tap more world markets including for its low-cost Nano car, a senior executive said on Wednesday.

Tata, India's top bus and truck maker, plans to set up a manufacturing facility in Rosslyn in South Africa, Managing Director Ravi Kant said at the India-Africa Summit.

The plan for the facility, which Tata Motors acquired from Nissan Motor in 2006, was complete and the project would commence shortly, Kant said.

Tata Motors, which last month signed a deal for Ford Motor's Jaguar and Land Rover brands, planned to also start assembling pickup trucks in Senegal, where it had previously supplied completely knocked down kits of buses, Kant said.

Tata, also India's No. 3 car maker, was conducting a feasibility study for assembling semi-knocked down kits of commercial vehicles in Congo, and will start selling cars there from this fiscal year, possibly even the low-cost Nano, he said.

"Africa is a key market for Tata Motors," Kant said.

"We are supplying trucks and buses for public transport and one opportunity could be for individual transport ... Nano could fit in that market," he said, without giving details.

Nano, priced at just above 100 000 rupees, is scheduled to roll out in India later this year. Tata Motors has said it would focus on local sales for the first two-to-three years.

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