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Mercedes to open assembly plant in India

DaimlerChrysler announced plans in late June to begin assembling Mercedes trucks for the Indian market, after winning a ¡°no objection certificate¡± from local partner Tata.


 


At the same time, rival Volvo announced plans to increase local production of trucks and buses.


 


The Indian truck and bus market, already being the world¡¯s fifth largest in unit volume, is growing quickly because of road improvements that make long haul trucking easier.


 


To use auto plant


 


Mercedes is building a passenger car assembly plant east of Mumbai in Maharashtra state, and said it will use the facility to build trucks from knockdown kits as well.


It currently imports the Actros range of heavy haulers, but the company said it hasn¡¯t decided yet on which of its brands it will use, and at what capacity. Recently acquired Mitsubishi Fuso makes midsized trucks that might be suited to the market.


 


Capacity


 


Meantime, Volvo, which recently took control of Nissan Diesel, said it will raise capacity from 1,800 vehicles this year to 2,500 in 2008, but insisted that no investment will be involved.


 


The company said it may import some trucks from a potential Chinese joint venture with Dongfeng Motor. But it added that it also expects to export as many as 1,000 vehicles to other Asian destinations next year, and to raise parts exports from India about 20 percent, to 90 million ($121 million).


 


Source: Japan Automotive Review

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