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M&M to export Navistar trucks to S Africa in 2 yrs


Auto major Mahindra & Mahindra today said its heavy commercial vehicle making joint venture Mahindra Navistar would start exporting trucks to South Africa within next two years.

The company is also exploring possibilities to export truck cabins to its foreign partner Navistar for the US market in the future.



"Our first export will be to South Africa. We are currently configuring the products for that market and it will take us about two years from now to start exports," Mahindra Navistar Automotive Managing Director Nalin Mehta told PTI at the 11th Auto Expo here.

The vehicles will be exported as a completely-built-unit from the company's manufacturing facility at Maharashtra to South Africa, he added.

"We had displayed the trucks in last auto expo in South Africa. It received very high appreciation there," Mehta said.

The company had first rolled out Mahindra Navistar truck from its Chakan facility for the Indian market in 2010.

"We have not decided yet about the branding of the trucks for the export markets... We will also explore other right-hand-drive markets around the world for exporting these at a later stage," he said.

Mehta further said the company was also looking at supplying truck cabins to the US partner Navistar.

"The trucks that are plying on the US roads are of very powerful than the Indian ones, there is hardly any market for the Indian trucks. However, we are working on exporting the forward cabins to Navistar," he said, adding exports of these cabins will take some years to start.

Talking about sales target, Mehta said it is aiming to sell 50,000 vehicles annually in the next 3-4 years. The firm can produce these vehicles at its plant on three shifts.

On new launches, he said the company will introduce 7-8 new products in 2012-13, including 49 tonnes trailer and 25 tonne tipper.

Earlier, the company had announced an investment of Rs 1,050 crore for ramping up Indian operations. It has already put in Rs 710 crore, while the rest will be spent in the next 2-3 years, Mehta said.

Last week, the company had announced that it will enter into the heavy bus segment in the next 1-2 years.

The company currently has 50 dealers with 900 service points. It plans to ramp up the network to 100 dealers in the next one year.