Isuzu expects 50,000 unit production at AP plant in 3 yrs

Isuzu-AP-PTI Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu with Masanori Katayama, President, Isuzu Motors and others at the rolling out of Isuzu Motors' first Made in India vehicle after inauguration of its Greenfield manufacturing unit at SriCity in Chithoor district, Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday | PTI

Isuzu Motors India expects to achieve production level of 50,000 units per annum in next three years as it opened its manufacturing plant in Sricity on Wednesday.

The Japanese automaker on Wednesday rolled out its India-made D-Max V-Cross pick-up from the newly-launched facility. The facility was inaugurated by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.

Isuzu Motors India Managing Director Naohiro Yamaguchi said that initial production capacity of the plant is 50,000 units per annum and can be scaled up to 1,20,000 units eventually.

"In the current market we cannot aim that 50,000 figure. In the next two to three years we have to open up new markets. We hope that we can reach 50,000 mark in the next three years. We cannot exactly say when we are going to reach 1,20,000 units. We are still in the start up phase," Yamaguchi told reporters here.

A senior official of the company said IMI has sold close to 3,000 vehicle so far during the last two years.

Replying to a query, Yamaguchi said the company has no plans to shift the production of its MU7 vehicle (SUV) to the Sricity plant.

"MU7 will not be produced out of this plant. We will continue to produce that at the current facility which we are sharing on contract basis with Hindustan Motors in Chennai. All D-Max production will be stopped at Chennai plant. The new plant here will start producing them," he added.

Isuzu Motors President Masanori Katayama in his address during inauguration said the new plant will not only cater to requirements of the growing Indian market, but will also serve as a key manufacturing hub for Isuzu's global operations.

Isuzu had earlier committed an investment of Rs 3,000 crore for the Indian project. Ambassador of Japan to India Kenji Hiramatsu was present during the inauguration.

With its existing operations in the US, Japan and Thailand, this plant in India is expected to provide a manufacturing leg-up to Isuzu globally.

A statement from Isuzu said the new generation of Isuzu D-Max pick-ups will be manufactured at the plant, with 70 per cent localisation at the start of production, which will be stepped up.

Isuzu will also consider export of vehicles manufactured at this facility at a suitable time in future, Yamaguchi said.

Meanwhile, Naidu said his government will consider giving exemption of road tax for Iuszu vehicles that are manufactured and sold in the state.

He also said the government would examine according to 'Mega Project' status to Isuzu plant.

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