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Sonalika International Tractors Ltd, a leading tractor manufacturer in India, plans to commence production at its new facility in Punjab in February, and is also planning to launch 250hp tractors for the global market.

D L Rana, director, Sales and Marketing, Sonalika International Tractors Ltd, said that the company is setting up the plant at Hoshiarpur, Punjab and had invested Rs 500 crore.

The plant will have a capacity to produce 200,000 tractors ever year. This comes on the backdrop of the company's plan to strengthen its presence in southern market.

Sonalika International Tractors claims that the company is the third-largest tractor manufacturer in India.

The company, which has been focusing mainly the northern and western markets, says it is now targeting to achieve a 10 per cent market share by fiscal 2017 in the south.

Sonalika ITL sold more than 50,000 tractors in the southern market and aims to be among the top-three brands in the region, with new products and an increased network of dealerships by next year.

Tamil Nadu is a crucial market for Sonalika ITL. The company has already introduced three new variants in the greater-than-30 HP segment and less-than-45 HP with Rx750 (55hp), World Trac 60, World Trac 75 and  World Trac 90 -- two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive, catering to varied farming needs.

Sonalika ITL recently launched 750 HDM series with 1,800-rpm engines, optimised gear speeds, direction control valve (DCV), 1,600 kg hydraulic lifting capacity, along with oil brakes & power steering for driver comfort. Farmers in Tamil Nadu have very received these products well.

Sonalika ITL is also planning to come out with newer products to suit specific needs of Tamil Nadu farmers. For inter crop cultivation, Sonalika ITL will introduce GT 26 and GT 30 tractors. These machines are suitable for crops such as sugarcane and in orchard farming for crops such as banana, lemon, orange and papaya. The company will introduce DI 750, Rx750 & Rx47 - 4WD models which are efficient in puddling and haulage, suitable for the terrains of Tamil Nadu, said N V L N Swami, senior general manager, International Tractors Ltd.

At present, Sonalika has 23 authorised dealers and plans to ramp up the rural reach to 55 dealers across Tamil Nadu and Kerala by fiscal 2017.

Rana said the company currently exports to around 80 countries and to strengthen its presence it is planning to launch upto 250hp  tractors. Currently it offers 20-120hp in India.

"The product is being tested and will be launched by end of fourth quarter," said Rana.