May 7, 2009

Ural India for a small car from Haldia in 2009

KOLKATA: Ural India Ltd, an Indo-Russian joint venture, is keen in building small cars at Haldia in West Bengal during this year and would also be conducting road shows to evaluate feedback from its prospective customers, reports The Times of India. TOI has also added that JV company would be producing two small cars by assembling parts at their Haldia factory for the road shows. The tyres, gears and engine would be produced locally, though the mould and metal sheet will be imported. The small car is estimated to cost around Rs 1.6 lakh, though no official announcement has been made by the company, where the West Bengal state government holds an 11 per cent stake. The company is planning to launch both AC and non-AC models and there would be options for switching over to LPG models as well. However, it could not be ascertained, whether the Kolkata-based company would seek any inputs or tie-up with the Chinese auto giant, FAW Corporation.

It may be recalled that First Auto Work (FAW), have reportedly signed a Memorandum of understanding (MOU) on 7th November'08, to set up a small car and bus manufacturing facility in West Bengal. The amount earmarked for the proposed JV is Rs. 1,500 crore and the price of the entry-level low-cost is estimated to be around Rs. 1.6 lakh. It is widely believed the JV will initially be rolling out the small car, followed by trucks, buses and minibuses. Sources on condition of anonymity have revealed that the proposed project would take at least 18 months to begin production. The Chinese public sector automobile company is eyeing to set up the unit either at Singur, or at Haldia, adjacent to Ural's existing truck assembling unit. Currently, the officials of FAW are hobnobbing with the West Bengal government officials and are reportedly seeking approximately 600 acres of land.

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