Mahindra Navistar to beef up product distribution range


Chennai: Commercial vehicles manufacturer Mahindra Navistar Automotives Ltd (MNAL), which is to launch a 49 tonne truck soon, will have an entire range of tippers, tractor trailers and rigid trucks by the next fiscal and then get into manufacturing of medium commercial vehicles including buses, a senior company official said.

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“By next fiscal we will be having most of the models in the heavy duty range of tippers/rigid trucks and tractor trailers. Post that we will get into manufacture of medium duty commercial vehicles including buses,” Chief Operating Officer Nalin Mehta told reporters here Monday.

According to him, the primary focus is setting up the distribution network across the country – around 100 dealerships in two years time – and seeding the market with the company’s heavy commercial vehicles segment.

A 51:49 joint venture between India’s Mahindra and Mahindra group and US-based $14.75 billion revenue Navistar, MNAL ventured into the heavy commercial vehicles segment recently with two models – a 25 tonne and 31 tonne trucks.

The trucks are rolled out of the company’s Rs.950 crore, 15,000 units per annum plant at Chakan in Maharashtra.

“We will shortly start trial production of 49 tonne trucks. We are currently making 25/31 and 40 tonne trucks,” Mehta added.

According to Rakesh Kalra, managing director, the company has sold around 300 units and numbers are not the primary focus.

Both the officials denied that the company is a price point player though the 25 tonne and 31 tonne trucks are priced around Rs.1.5 million and Rs.1.9 million, respectively – lower than that of competition.

“Our models are priced competitively,” Mehta added.

On the emerging foreign competition, Kalra said: “Anybody having imported components in their trucks cannot be cheaper than us as our localisation levels are 100 percent.”

The company also flagged off the mobile service workshop claimed to be the first of its kind in the trucking industry.

On the light commercial vehicles (LCV) front, Kalra said the company has sold around 8,500 units till December.

Queried about the joint venture partner’s plans of sourcing components out of India, Kalra said: “Navistar will buy around $20 million worth of auto components this year.”

In addition, Navistar will outsource engineering services and around 300 engineers of Mahindra Energy Systems are working on Navistar’s project here.