Saturday, February 11, 2012

Nitol group keen on Nano assembly unit in Bangladesh

With the Nano all set to hit the Bangladesh roads this February, the distributor of the Tata cars there, now plans to open talks with the Mumbai-based auto major to set up an assembly unit of the small car.

Tata Nano 2012

“Bangladesh is a viable economy. We will grow very fast here. Therefore as soon as we introduce the vehicle, in two moths we will have an idea about the market. Then we will start negotiating with Tata for the assembly plant,” Abdul Matlub Ahmed, Chairman of Nitol Group, distributor of the Tata Motors in Bangladesh said.

The Bangladeshi company has finalised the deal with Tata Motors to import and sell the Tata Nano in the country.

“We are expecting to introduce Nano in Bangladesh sometime in February. We will import about 2,000 Nano cars in the first year for the Bangladesh market. We are importing all the models and will see the market response. Then we will finally decide on the import programme on the basis of demand. Our idea is to reach at least 10,000 a year in the next couple of years,” Ahmed said.

The vehicle was scheduled to be launched in Bangladesh in October last year, but it got delayed following some pricing issues.

As high import duty will cost the common man's car about Tk 6.5 lakh (Rs 3.8 lakh), the distributor wants the car to be assembled in Bangladesh.

“Definitely an assembly unit here will be cost effective. But we are not sure about the logistics part the and the fresh investment required to make. We will have to do a lot of study,” he said.

However, Tata's spokesman declined to comment on whether the auto major has any plan to come up with an assembly unit in Bangladesh.

Although the company did not give any timeline, Tata Motors had earlier said, it was considering the option of assembling the Nano abroad through export of completely knocked down units (CKD).

The home-grown auto major started exports of completely built units (CBU) of the Nano to Sri Lanka and Nepal last year. Between April and November 2011, Tata Motors exported 1,728 units of the small car.

Apart from Bangladesh, the company plans to export the car to other Asian countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Mayanmar. It is also working on an upgraded version of the Nano for the developed markets in the US and Europe.

The car has also reportedly evinced interest from some overseas companies like the Teco Group of Taiwan, which has expressed keenness to manufacture and sell the vehicle in the respective countries.

Source: Business Standard

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