Monday, January 9, 2012

Tata Motors keen to expand operations in Myanmar

India's Tata Motors is looking to expand operations in Myanmar by assembling and selling buses and light commercial vehicles there, the head of its Indian operations said.

Tata currently operates a truck assembly plant in Myanmar, but is now looking at a larger presence in the South East Asian nation as it moves quickly to implement political reforms and attract investments.

"At the moment we are assembling the larger commercial vehicles...we can look at buses and probably the smaller commercial vehicles," P.M. Telang, managing director of Tata Motors' India operations, told reporters.

The political opening has accelerated since last year when Myanmar's generals installed a new civilian government, released political prisoners and reached out to armed ethnic groups, but economic sanctions are yet to be lifted.

Tata Motors, whose range of cars extends from the ultra-cheap Nano, to British luxury brands Jaguar and Land Rover, is also looking at the potential for manufacturing cars in Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar, Telang said.

The automaker sells its vehicles in Asia, Europe, Africa and South America.

Car sales have slowed down in its home country, hurt by rising finance rates and rising input costs. India's car sales, which grew 30 per cent in the year ended March 2011, are expected to be flat in the current financial year.

Tata Motors posted a wider than expected fall in September quarter earnings due to high interest costs and exchange rate fluctuations.

The company has earmarked 30 billion rupees ($568 million) as capital expenditure for the financial year beginning on April 1, Telang said, almost similar to the current fiscal year's levels.

Source: Economic Times

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