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Caparo in talks with Daimler to supply CV parts in India


UK-based Caparo Group is in talks with German auto major Daimler to supply components for the latter's proposed commercial vehicle (CV) business in India.

"We are having conversations with them. We have good relationship (with them)," Caparo Group CEO Angad Paul told PTI when asked if the company would supply components to Daimler's upcoming CV venture in India.
Daimler had set target to introduce lightweight trucks from Mitsubishi Fuso stable in the Indian market by 2010 as part of its expansion strategy in the country's auto mart.
Asked if Caparo could consider partnering with the German firm for CV business, Paul said, "Its not our goal to be making partnerships with specific OEMs (original equipment manufacturer)... Personally I think, they (Daimler) are going to come in, I don't think they are going to come in with partners. Thats my view.
Even in the bus project (of Caparo), it wasn't about partnering with anyone. It was about making something specific and taking some technology for the chassis that we don't have. For us to partner with an OEM (and) if we are going to put off other OEMs from buying our parts, it doesn't make any sense."
In 2008, Lord Swraj Paul-led Caparo Group had signed a technical pact with Hyundai to manufacture luxury buses in India, but put the plan on hold indefinitely citing unfavourable market conditions.

Earlier, Daimler had planned to set up a new plant in Chennai in a joint venture with the Hero Group at an investment of Rs 4,400 crore. However, after the Hero Group pulled out, it decided to go solo and bought out the 40 per cent holding of the Munjals for Rs 78.48 crore in April, 2009.
When asked if Caparo could revive its plan to foray into the country's bus market, Paul said, "At the end of the day, someone else might come along, wants to do it, and says we want to do it, we want you to supply, fine. We will supply them with components.
"Ultimately, we are constantly watching, we are flexible enough to know that the next thing might come along, we are flexible enough to know that if we have a plan that the market doesn't warrant that plan going ahead, we will put a stop to it," he added.
While the group had not announced any investments for its luxury bus plans with Hyundai, Caparo had envisaged setting up a manufacturing plant spread across 20 acres in South India with a capacity to produce 1,500 buses a year.
It had scouted for a location in places, including Sriperumbudur, Oragadam (Tamil Nadu) and Nellore (Andhra Pradesh).