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Tata Motors plans assembly plant in South Africa PDF Print E-mail

India's largest truck maker Tata Motors is gearing up for an African Safari. The auto giant is setting up an assembly unit in South Africa for a range of vehicles, government sources tell ET NOW.

When contacted Tata Motors spokesperson said, "Tata Motors does not have any information to share with you now. All we can tell you is that in Africa, for both commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles, our largest export market is South Africa."

Since 2005, Tata Motors has sold over 39,000 passenger cars and 50,000 commercial vehicles in South Africa. According to a South African statistics organization, Tata Motors sold 489 vehicles in the month of April. Tata Motors spokesperson says, "Tata Motors is one of the few companies in South Africa that offers a complete range of vehicles - from passenger cars to the extra heavy commercial vehicles." Currently Tata Motors offers 20 commercial vehicles and 6 passenger car models in South Africa and even runs a technical centre for skill development for dealers and their team at Johannesburg.

He further added, "South Africa is integral to Tata Motors' global business footprint and the company perceives huge opportunities in this focus market over the next 5 years" To keep up with the changing needs of the market, Tata Motors also upgraded its portfolio in South Africa by introducing new models like Xenon pick up, LPT 1518, Tata - Daewoo trucks, Indica Vista etc. Tata Nano is also expected to be introduced to the market.

But with worldwide demand for cars still sluggish after the recession, does it make sense for auto companies to set up plants overseas? Rakesh Batra, Partner - automotive, Ernst & Young says, "There is enough demand now that justifies investment in a manufacturing set up, there are also some advantages that could come like cost, tax, political advantage by providing employment. All those factors go into making this decision."

For Tata Motors, its overall exports have gone up by 149% to 3,137 vehicles in April 2010 over 1,261 vehicles in April last year. Tata Motors recently also disclosed plans to set up an assembly plant for two model lines in another African market Nigeria in the next two to three years where annual sales have reached 1,000.

Tata Motors Group global sales grow by 53% at 77,732 vehicles in April 2010

The Tata Motors Group global sales, comprising of Tata, Tata Daewoo and Hispano Carrocera range of commercial vehicles, Tata passenger vehicles along with distributed brands in India, and Jaguar and Land Rover, were 77,732 nos. in April 2010, a growth of 53% over April 2009.

Sales of all commercial vehicles were 34,470 nos. in April 2010, a growth of 40%. Sales of all passenger vehicles were 43,262 nos. in April 2010, a growth of 66%.

Tata passenger vehicle sales, including those distributed, were 25,353 nos. for the month, a growth of 71%.

Jaguar Land Rover global sales in April 2010 were 17,909 vehicles, higher by 61%. Jaguar sales for the month were 3,559 nos., almost the same as last year inspite of the withdrawal of X-Type. The Jaguar XF sales were up by 23%, while Land Rover sales were 14,350 nos., higher by 89%.